When ‘math rock’ started to blossom in the early 90’s, some were probably a little perplexed. A bastard son of hardcore punk, math rock had removed the brevity and simplicity associated with its former and, instead, replaced it with musical complexity and articulation, the familiar facets of prog rock. Perhaps what set math rock apart from prog rock was instilled in its roots. Math rock bands did not produce extravagant finely-toned power ballads with exhaustive keyboard solos; they were punk bands, and as such the sound of the music was messy, abrasive and, perhaps most importantly, minimalist. But we all knew that, right?
It is always nice to come across a band that reinvigorates these historical sentiments, and Sydney’s Captain Kickarse And The Awesomes are certainly one of these. In their latest effort, Grim Repercussions, the loose, raw vibe of Black Flag and Squirrel Bait is met with a complex array of off-kilter rhythms, hat-tipping the meter-molesting greats like King Crimson and such. Combined, the nine tracks of Grim Repercussions drive home a math rock aesthetic that is impervious to lavish pedal effects and guitar tapping, all-too revered in the contemporary math rock community. Here, the raw yet disjointed intensity recalls math rock greats like Shellac and Breadwinner, and a bona fide reflection of math rock history feels ever-present.
Don’t be fooled by their self-indulgent name, Captain Kickarse And The Awesomes deliver a math rock texture that echoes the sounds of yester-decade. This might be one of the best contemporary clones we have.
Math Rock, progressive, odd rhythms, disjointed riffs
Sounds A Tad Like
Breadwinner, Town Portal, Shellac