We are entering a stage in the math rock evolutionary tree where the familiar off-kilter instrumental dabbles are being spliced, often replaced, with the gentle nature of Midwestern emo. And, indeed, it is often the case that the broth containing these two ingredients never fully reaches optimal gastronomic quality.
Enter Charlotte quartet Cuzco, who in 2017 released their debut EP A Medicine for Melancholy. It won the hearts of a small but no less loving math rock community with its interwoven songs, or “sketches”, driven from unbounded experimentation in the studio. It was a very gentle exploration of melody and rhythm that called to mind 00’s acts like Pretend and Dilute, and was a convincing fusion between math rock and emo sensibilities. The broth of kings and queens.
Today, we have the privilege of unveiling the band’s newest single ‘New Tricks’, off their upcoming album Sketchbook. In four minutes, Cuzco enter the niche where bands like Feed Me Jack and The Most are renowned, where bands can twist and tangle the wiring of conventional song structure but still provide a compelling narrative. Like all the best instrumental math rock, ‘New Tricks’ is a wandering symphony that doesn’t stray too far from the ground. You’ll trudge through unknown landscapes but there’s plenty to cling to on your travels.
Sketchbook is out on April 19th via Refresh Records. You can go and pre-order the album over on the Cuzco bandcamp page.