After the not-so-joyful slog last year, you’ll be pleased to know that another year of labour and existential uncertainty awaits us all in 2017. But hey, you can sit around on your rock and ponder away about the fragility of existence like Auguste Rodin’s Thinking Man, or you can just wrap some headphones in your ear sockets and get lost in the tunes of blissful ignorance and whimsical joy.
We think this year is going to be shit-hot when it comes to math rock and math-leaning albums. Here are a bunch of gems we are really getting our knickers in a twist about…
The Physics House Band
Four whole years since their debut EP, and 2 years since we last predicted a new record was on its way, The Physics House Band are due to release something new this year having finished recording back in June. They recently shared a cryptic shot that looked suspiciously like a music video shoot, hinting that our favourite mind-melting progsters’ return is very much imminent. Bet your bottom dollar that they’ve still got some insane chops, as those who recently saw them with Three Trapped Tigers can attest. KR
Whet your appetite: Check out ‘Electric Frontier’, which may or may not be on the new record, captured live by Small Pond at ArcTanGent 2014.
And So I Watch You From Afar
While there are no firm dates yet, ASIWYFA said they were very near finished with writing a new album when we caught up at ArcTanGent. They’ve written plenty of material, but were keen to stress that they were looking to lock down the whole album package from concept to artwork before committing to record. If the new track they debuted on the festival stage is anything to go by, we are due the usual treat. KR
Whet your appetite: If you haven’t got it already (seriously, where have you been?!), then pick up 2015’s phenomenal ‘Heirs’.
Alpha Male Tea Party
Big party riffers Alpha Male Tea Party have just finished up in Oxfordshire recording Health, the follow-up to 2014’s Droids. They’re very happy with it, which means that in all likelihood we will be too. The album was funded via PledgeMusic, with 10% of proceeds going to Macmillan Cancer Trust and there are still plenty of goodies to be had in return for a donation. KR
Whet your appetite: If you want some Liverpudlian Alpha Males in your life, pre-order the record and claim all sorts of goodies here.
Nothing is sadder than a band imploding just as they’re beginning to fulfil their promise. But sigh no more as Gallops are back and ready to follow up on 2012’s Yours Sincerely, Dr Hardcore, an album they were mid-touring before falling out and calling it quits in early 2013. Bronze Mystic is out on 21st April and available to pre-order now. If lead single ‘Darkjewel’ is anything to go by, they’re right back where they left off so expect a collections of big-hitting, danceable electro-math. KR
As the folk lore goes, the term ‘math rock’ is indirectly attributed to Chavez members. But more importantly, these New York indie-slacker-punk-prog demigods laid much of the groundwork for the scene hitherto. So am I excited about Cockfighters, the follow up EP to their phenomenal 1996 full length Ride The Fader? You bet your goddamn ass. NH
Whet your appetite: Listen to ‘Bully Boys‘, which will appear on the EP.
UPDATE: Bully Boys is now available via Matador Records!
Whilst you might not consider them math per se, Tool have more odd time signatures than metronome with Tourette’s syndrome. Who knows whether this will happen this year, but word is that Tool are edging closer to finally following up on 2006’s 10,000 Days. Maynard James Keenan has likened the process to making a fine wine and has insisted that the band are being anything but lazy despite the 10 years it’s taken them. Given their form, I wouldn’t hold your breath, but one can only hope! KR
Whet your appetite: Ha! As if… go spin their back catalogue, as it’s the best we’re gonna get in terms of clues.
Sadly, 2017 will see the end of Quadrilles for the foreseeable future, as they’ve decided to take an indefinite break to raise families. It’s not all bad news however, as a parting gift they’re recording an album before they go. For your dose of quirky math-pop head over to their Facebook to check in on their dispatches from the studio. KR
Whet your appetite: Check out various studio snippets on Facebook.
Fresh from releasing their EP Can’t Stop Seeing Creed and recruiting a legion of new space interns at last year’s ArcTanGent, Space Blood release their debut full length in the Spring. Don’t be surprised if the result isn’t the sonic equivalent of a night on the Malort. KR
Whet your appetite: Grab a copy of last year’s Can’t Stop Seeing Creed EP.
It’s been 4 years since their debut full length Everything Touching and this year’s sophomore offering should see Tall Ships fully blossom from their loopy math beginnings to grandiose, intelligent pop. Entitled Impressions, the record is due out in February. With a big of luck they’ll reach the audience they deserve. KR
Whet your appetite: Check out single ‘Meditations on Loss’ here.
Bulgarian instrumental power-trio Mental Architects are back after a five year hiatus to serve up a fresh round of groovy math rock. Their 2012 magnum opus Celebrations was like a bag of concrete to the nuts, and we are super excited for another round. NH
Whet your appetite: Check out their 2012 banger ‘Medications’ here.
Details are thin on the ground at the moment, but mathcore pioneers Converge are due in the studio in the Spring to start work on the follow-up to 2012’s ‘All We Love We Leave Behind’.
If the anticipation is too much, in the meantime you can check out ‘Jane Live’, a live double album recording of the seminal ‘Jane Doe’ album in full. If you rush, you might even be able to pick up one of 4 stunning limited edition vinyl copies with reinterpretations of the iconic artwork. KR
New Jersey three-piece Vasudeva were quick off the mark in 2017, announcing the name, release date, artwork and track listing for their new record on January 13th as well as a huge run of US dates in the run-up where you can catch a sneak preview. ‘No Clearance’ is out on March 31st and available to pre-order from January 24th. KR
Whet your appetite: A live recording of their recent Little Elephant session is available on vinyl here.
Super scarce on the details but Town Portal said farewell to 2016 with a New Year post promising new music in 2017. We’re not sure what form this will take, but we know we aren’t the only ones looking forward to finding out. KR
Whet your appetite: Check out this live recording for the Recording Europe project.
Paroxysmic duo Giraffes? Giraffes! have been implying LP4 since August 2016 and, given the recent surge in Facebook videos of them playing new tunes, I think its safe to say that 2017 is the year for a new release. Sick? Sick! NH
Whet your appetite: Bang you ears along with some tunes from their recent 7″
Awake People. Finally. NH
Whet your appetite: Listen to Growing and await further instruction from the band.
Yep, you bet your ass there are even more albums to look forward to in 2017. We have another installment coming at you soon…