Get your twinklers out boys and girls, Topshelf have another tease of a musical morsel for you to digest.
Hailing from various parts of the wintery north-east bit of the Americas, Del Paxton and Gulfer are two math-flavoured emo bands whose current relative obscurity is in no way commensurate with the quality of their musical output.
The lesser known of the two, Montreal’s Gulfer, has shown massive potential over a number of splits and EPs as a punky emo band with penchant for infectious hooks slapped on weird time signatures, delicate tapping and trumpet swells. I’m personally keeping an eye on these guys.
Perhaps the better known of the two, Del Paxton is either a fictional jazz pianist in the awfully named Tom Hanks film ‘That Thing You Do!’ or, more likely, a band from Buffalo, NY whose initially more orthodox emo-pop-punk tracks crack open to reveal rewarding nuggets of rhythmic complexity that give them a character distinct from the midwestern crowd.
The two’s styles complement each other well. Both stick to strong hooks and vocal-driven songs but retaining complex, multi-phased composition, throwing in a fair amount of rhythmic weirdness to keep listeners on their toes. Del Paxton’s, for example, ‘Bad Batch’ begins in driving 7/4 time before effortlessly switching gears into 4/4, and Gulfer’s ‘Bob Abate’ shifts from standard time to 3/4 and then enters stranger territory through the progress of as a multi-part instrumental bookended by ear-worming verses.
If you like your emo midwestern and/or mathematical, I would keep your eyes peelered out for these guys in the future.