We Be, 2013
Boisterous, intricate math-punk from the London trio. Their second full length outing is crammed with angular rhythms and manic percussion, whilst dual-gender vocals yap all over the top; imagine Johnny Foreigner covering Refused tracks and you might be close. Those back-and-forth vocals can sometimes be a little grating, but with the typically 2-3 minute track lengths it’s only ever a fleeting fault. Besides, you’ll usually be too beguiled by the inventive guitar melodies and brilliant drumming to notice.
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Building on their promising self-titled debut EP, London trio Press To Meco deliver five new tracks of vibrant math-infused rock. As demonstrated by the opener and title track, Affinity takes a slightly harder metallic edge than the previous EP, tossing about plenty of big, jagged, meaty riffs, though there’s still no shortage of pop-punk enthusiasm (see the gloriously sunny ‘Tired Bones’). The main source of the record’s poppiness comes from the vocal harmonies, of which all three members partake; it’s an infectious strength that’s fast becoming a unique selling point for the band.
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Count Your Lucky Stars, 2013
Heartfelt math-pop along the lines of Dikembe or Snowing, Brave Bird stand out from the twinkly pack by virtue of their lively, dynamic, and consistently strong songwriting. The Michigan trio show themselves to be as adept at cathartic and hooky emo-punk as they are dreamy passages of American Football-like melodics, knitting the two together as seemlessly as if this were their fifth full length rather than their first. Recommended.
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Starting your album off with a 10 minute song is a bold gesture, especially when you’re an instrumental band. This power rock duo are up to the challenge, adding a lot of electronica sounds to their breezy guitar riffs and intricate drum patterns. Looping is used in high amounts as the textures unfold in complicated yet unpretentious ways, the melodies suiting the unusual time signatures. “Yellow Bridges” might be the best instrumental song so far this decade.
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Sargent House, 2013
Wowzers. It’s only January and I’ve already undoubtedly found one of my favourites albums of 2013. As the first release featuring new-ish singer Henry Tremain, 220.127.116.11.0 could have sounded like a work in progress but in fact ends up being the Oxford band’s most confident and fully realised release to date. The intricate guitar work is as mind bogglingly complex as ever, and while this might take an obvious centre stage each of the three members excel here. Continue reading
It seemed that with each subsequent album, Minus The Bear were becoming more experimental, exploring odd time signatures and lots of progressive guitar work. This time they opt for a completely different route than their previous synth heavy offering, focusing on post-rock texturing and atmospheric indie rock with prog-rock moments. The guitars are delivered in spades here, and their unique rhythms are as detailed as ever, the power and melody balanced out perfectly.
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