100 great math rock albums you’ve never heard [76-100]


76. Keiko Tsuda – Sake Duo Kit (2012)

keikotsuda Keiko Tsuda were one of the many players in the vibrant collective of French electronic math, which also includes bands like Geste, Jean Jean, Quadrupede, and Chevreuil. Perhaps what made albums like Sake Duo Kit stand out from the others was its eccentric punk aesthetic. The seven tracks on this debut incorporate looping and improvisation, are punchy, quirky, and have a rascally manner to them. NH

77. Challenger – Greatest Hits (2012)

challenger Challenger came out of the same Boston underground music scene that gave birth to Lynx (also on this list) in the mid to late 90’s. In fact, Lynx was formed by Challenger’s bassist along with Dave Konopka (who would later guitar in Battles), following the demise of Challenger. Challenger only made one album, the modestly titled Greatest Hits, and it’s fantastic. WC

78. American Men – Cool World (2012)

americanmen If electronic-leaning math is your game then you simply cannot go past Scottish EDM-inspired math rock trio American Men, featuring music producer Claude Speeed (yes, three e’s) and members of Dananananaykroyd. Their one and only release Cool World blends jingling synths over odd-metered beats to make these strange but ultimately invigorating soundscapes. A must for Three Trapped Tigers and Falcon Punch fans. NH

79. Gastric Band – Party Feel (2012)

gastricbandI’m going to be honest, I almost could not bring myself to post this one, based on the awful cover art. But alas, the jazz math rock ruckus from Scottish sextet Gastric Band is just overwhelming. Party Feel is rambunctious, vivacious and espouses a dissident punk mentality, which perhaps permits it to not be taken completely seriously. NH

80. Former Animals – Former Animals (2012)

a1259699116_10With its intricate guitar lines and gentle chops, Former Animals‘ tasty debut feels a nice straight-up-the-middle instrumental math rock record, not dissimilar to say The Bulletproof Tiger or Dios Trio. What spices things up is the barrage of pedal effects that pushes the release into the realms of kraut and space rock, and launching the listener into this strange campy sci-fi territory. It’s a really enjoyable listen, however far from the ground you are. NH

81. L’viv – Compare and Decide (2012)

lvivWith its sludgy guitars and slow tempo, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Pelican had turned to math rock. Winnepeg trio L’viv are the masters at play here, taking the bludgeoning guitar motifs of metal and flipping them to form a sound that is actually rather pleasant and surprisingly uplifting. Compare And Decide is their only release to date. An EP was announced in 2013, but with no harvest as yet… NH

82. SRVVLST – Extended Slay (2012)

srvvlst Testament to their brief time as a band, Survivalist (which would be abbreviated to SRVVLST) released this wrap-up of their three years together. Covering a lot of territory, from emo revival to math rock to post-hardcore, this was a parting message (a swan song if you will) of a band leaving a mark on their hometown of Columbus. NH

83. Death and the Ninth Day – Man Falls Down Well (2012)

deathandtheninthdayIt’s all out tappity-tap pandemonium in this blistering math rock release from defunct Canadian act Death and the Ninth Day. What makes Man Falls Down Well a cut above the rest lies in its infectious chord progressions, with tracks like ‘Elephant Graveyard’ and ‘So It Goes’ delivering sharp and beguiling melodies sure to get wedged in your head. Still freely downloadable on bandcamp, go nab it. NH

84. Zef’s Chasing Cara – Ultra Gown (2013)

zefschasingcaraScottish bedroom wizard Zef’s Chasing Cara’s Ultra Gown is criminally underrated. Perhaps the ultimate exploration of the ‘twinkly’ sound, ZCC’s wonderful, imaginative compositions blend melodic, technical guitar passages with vibrant, programmed electronics. No time is wasted: ideas constantly fly by, perfectly executed; Ultra Gown is an excellently produced, interesting and, frankly, a fun album, which would be making serious waves were it better known. Also, here’s a nice piece of Fecking Bahamas history for ya: Zef Chasing Cara was interviewed for one of our first ever Focus articles on bedroom musicians. JL

85. TV – Selburosa (2013)

tvNorwegian duo TV provide a raw, noisy and off-kilter sound that harks back to the math rock’s golden era. Selburosa conjures up the bare-boned ferocity of early math rock acts like Breadwinner and Shellac with its stripped back punk textures and weirdo time signatures, while adding an extra layer of math, calculating their structures based on actual mathematical patterns and concepts. This is 100% math rock in it’s most deconstructive sense. NH/TM

86. Purge Solenoid – Transtactile (2013)

purgesolenoid You could picture Purge Solenoid as the psychotropic version of Hella, a two-piece exploring the inner depths of consciousness. With its noise rock cacophony, psychedelic vocals, and reverberating shoegaze and surf qualities, the band’s second release Transtactile provides a vivid and whirling trip down the kaleidoscope (as its extremely apt artwork implies). NH

87. Zevious – Passing Through The Wall (2013)

zevious Step into the world of free-jazz and avant-garde with this truly wonky ride from New York trio Zevious. In Passing Through The Wall, the band made heavy use of repetition and distortion to push the listener towards a hypnotic state of uncertainty. It’s an album that Cuneiform Records described with good reason as ‘knotty’. Fans of Yowie and Upsilon Acrux will no doubt take pleasure in this skronk delight. WC

88. Babar – You’re Doing Great (2013)

babarThe opener to Babar‘s You’re Doing Great really sets the scene for what expect from this Texas trio: a maelstrom of intertwining guitar melodies, rolling off each other and forming a musical marble of sorts. Self-described as sounding ‘kind of like muppets on a scavenger hunt’. We can work with that. NH

89. Fight Fire With Water – Even If I Didn’t Exist, I’d Still Be Better Than You (2013)

fightfirewithfire Up in north-west Leicestershire, practically Derbyshire actually, you’ll find the small market town of Ashby-de-la-Zouch. As musical claims to fame go, they have one count of NME-backed but not terrible indie band Young Knives, one song named after the place (maybe, very maybe) by Charles Mingus, and in 2004/5 came Fight Fire With Water. The band were, by their own admission, too young to know what they were doing but that’s what made them great. They veered that math/post rock line and wrote superbly joyful and catchy numbers with straight mathy names like “We’re Philosophers, Sibbie”, and “There’s Triangles All Over The Sky”. Other than some youtube clips the only remains are in this E.P. released on the great Leicester label Robot Needs Home. This was their second E.P. in fact the first coming on a CDr with no artwork done shortly before a show with 65daysofstatic and Youthmovie Soundtrack Strategies. Sidenote: FFWW’s drummer James Collins subbed for Maybeshewill during the two bands’ joint tour in 2005 and became MSW’s permanent drummer shortly after that. AS

90. U SCO – Trefftpunkt (2014)

uscoHailing from Portland, Oregon, U SCO‘s music combines a weird mix of almost krautrock like minimalism with angular post-hardcore to create some math rock at its finest. Treffpunkt is a headbangers delight especially for those who like Daughters inspired mayhem with the angular chops of a bands like Nitkowski and early Tera Melos. The album was put out by New Atlantis Records, who have put out a lot of great math rock albums that have floated under the radar the past decade and U SCO is a great place to dive in. WC

91. Delicious Death – Still Death (2015)

deliciousdeath Still Death is one of those albums that gets better with each listen. 3 years after its release, it’s still a densely complex LP that is worth a revisit. Delicious Death is the brainchild of Bob Baxter who writes and performs all of the music. His unique brand of guitar-centric math rock sprinkled with a dash of progressive sensibilities seems to borrow ideas from all over the spectrum. ‘Enemy of the Steak’ is like a heavy, driven prog-rock song with a few flourishes here and there, somewhat reminiscent of a CHON or Plini song. ‘Miami Rice’ is a groovy, almost danceable song with catchy riffs and a little bit of dynamic finger-tapping thrown in for good measure. This song’s whimsical yet subtly intricate feel is a bit like Bearcubbin’ or Patchwork Natives. SK

92. Pinnacles – Convolve And Deflect (2015)

pinnacleNevada City Pinnacles are a band with wild imagination. Their 2015 sophomore Convolve And Deflect is the perfect trip into the band’s modus operandi, combining the ethereal, dreamy shoegaze; punchy and coherent grunge; and the off-kilter math rock. What comes out is a richly atmospheric and cerebral epic with amazing vocal performances and beautiful sound production. This is a band deserving much more attention. NH

93. Parker Projection – As Long As I Have Teeth (2016)

parker The stellar debut from Parker Projection is a nice reflection of where we are with math rock in the 21st century, as the emphasis slowly moves away from percussion to the theatrics of the guitar. Some circles will probably pull out the ‘twinkle’ tag here (which I write with great distaste); whatever you want to call it, Parker Projection offer a nice showcase of guitar tapped melodies amidst the CHONs, TTNGs, Florals, and Ghost And Vodkas. A state-of-the-genre, you might say. NH

94. Bisbâyé – Synkronyk (2016)

bisbaye Featuring members of Fecking Bahamas favourites Golden Python, this obscure math metal act is an exercise in complex music. Bisbâyé‘s Synkronyk captures essence of math gloriously with both duelling guitars and duelling drums, blasting out odd-metered polyrhythms all over the place. One of the most challenging albums you will come across on this list. NH/TM

95. Memória de Peixe – Himiko Cloud (2016)

memoiredepeixe Himiko is a giant nebular gas cloud roughly 13 billion light-years away from the Earth, hypothesized to be a proto-galaxy. So sets the theme for Memória de Peixe‘s second full length, a cavalcade of electronic, chiptune, looping and bizarro instrumental rock. Ambitious in its design and beguiling in its execution, Himiko Cloud is a richly textured sonic mashup of musical instruments and technology. NH

96. Macmanaman – New Wave of British Baseball Heavy Metal (2016)

macmanaman One of our most anticipated bands emerging in the Japanese math and post rock scene comes from Fukuouka and goes by the name of Macmanaman. In this their second album, the band forge a truly cinematic mesh of math rock and post-rock, which sees each track unfurling slowly and with spectacular development. With its superb craft and uplifting spirit New Wave of British Baseball Heavy Metal conjures up feelings that there’s hope in the universe for us all. NH

97. Sheen Marina – Travel Lightly (2017)

sheenmarina Fans of the math-noise-surf-rock haze of Tera Melos and Lingua Nada will have a blast with this off-the-wall experimental release from Brooklyn four-piece Sheen Marina. It’s a record that borrows from many disparate genres to forge its own mutant sound, one that is incredibly catchy and memorable. Take a psychedelic and wobbly trip into the unknown. NH

98. Shy – Shy (2017)

shy For those looking for a spectacular fission between math and jazz, we recommend you get your ears aimed at this mature-minded and heavily underrated quintet from Philadelphia. Shy‘s self-titled debut is delicately crafted, symphonic, eclectic, and a downright pleasure. Be sure to also check out their Facebook page where they continuously post some of the funniest doggo photos we’ve seen. NH

99. Paranoid Void – Literary Math (2017)

paranoidvoid Paranoid Void‘s first full-length Literary Math contains all the familiar Japanese math rock tricks: twanging guitars, angular riffs, uplifting vocals. Yet it does more than tick the boxes. The concepts, vocals, lyrics and narrative of Literary Math are so gently executed, neatly balanced and seamlessly blended, creating a beautiful piece of musical poetry which delves into topics of social ennui and the search for one’s self. Paranoid Void share the stage with acts like tricot, Maison Book Girl and sora tob sakana as artists offering new and twisted perspectives of pop music. NH

100. Çub – Musique Actuelle (2017)


Just in case this went under everyone’s radar; kick-ass french math rock trio Ça teamed up last year with dub/techno producer Submarine FM to create the unlikely mashup that is Çub. Math-rock dance music is something there is not enough of yetTM


NH – Nikk Hunter
TM – Tiago Morelli
WC – William Covert
SK – Stephen Kemp
AS – Ali Safavi
PS – Paul Sutherland
JL – Josiah Luck