It’s been a slow start to the year for us (maybe even for math in general?) so, naturally, we’ve been looking for a record to sweep us off our toes. Something to push our lethargic minds back into gear. Lo, what a beautiful morning it was when Straya‘s Sobereyed landed in our inbox. This sophomore release from the Minnesota quartet is innovating, challenging and indisputably imaginative; and we are proud to be streaming it in full this week on Feck.
Anyone approaching this epic must be armed with patience. Sobereyed is a long record. At times it might even be a difficult record. Some of these cuts are dense, pithy, and drawn out; involving copious experimentation with sound and space. If you’re eagerly awaiting your dose of punchy math toons, you are going to have to earn them. And this is where Sobereyed is at its most rewarding. Much like the ambient, drone and post rock genres, endurance is the key here, as part of what makes this such an enjoyable experience is surviving the journey.
Math rock aficionados may be quick to liken this to bands like Dilute and Pretend. Here, however, Straya have done something much more texturally complex. The band have pick-and-mixed using the entire music realm, combining (among many others) electronica, Sunn-O))))-style drones, jazz, sludge, black metal, post-metal, hell there’s even readings from Kafka’s ‘Before the Law‘. It is an eclectic and undoubtedly bulky record, however it is not clunky or poorly zip-locked together; the band gently fuse the defining motifs of these movements and genres and produce a seamless weave. Suffice it to say that you will be conjuring up a wider array of emotions than those implicit in the flowers adorning the album’s cover.
To call this a math rock album is an understatement. Sobereyed is a lengthy piece that explores 21st century sound as we know it. So ambitious in its mission, so rewarding in its outcomes.