Never let it be said that we at Fecking Bahamas are a sentimental bunch. Mere days before 2014 comes to a close, while nostalgically looking back on the year gone by in our End of Year Report, we also look forward with eagerness at the year to come. Like Janus the two-faced Roman god of beginnings and transitions, if a classical allusion takes your fancy. Like the indent between two paragraphs, if obscure metaphors that don’t really work take your fancy.
We are expecting another amazing year of music in 2015 and, in preparation, we have packed together a list of some of the albums we are damned excited about. Folks, this is where you should be pointing them ear radars.
Masters of cartoonery and steel drum virtuosos Battles have been teasing us with their alleged recording plans via Instagram pictures and Facebook posts. Their latest portrays shows mysterious hands tweaking knobs and playing guitar chords, either an implication of things to come or some random philistine Instagram art. Hopefully not the latter. An earlier post revealed some specifics on track names and structures.
From these rather foggy cues, we can surmise this: the third Battles album, working title BTTLS III, may include up to 19 tracks with titles like ‘Summertime’, ‘Banana Splitz’, ‘Mexico’, ‘FF Afrose’, ‘Voodoo’, ‘Bolero’ and ‘Disco Hillbillies’. Well, we’re excited…
Chronopoly was a whopper. As soon as the merciless ‘Chronoceros’ started stomping around in my living room and started breaking my cups and ruining my dinner plans, I knew I had fallen in love with Denmark’s Town Portal. We have been eagerly awaiting their third release, and 2015 will indeed be the year of birth.
We have come to know that Town Portal will release a new album some time around May next year and the early demos have already been recorded. If you’re lucky and British, they might even play them for you in April next year…
Alright The Captain
We can say with absolute certainty that Alright The Captain‘s next release, Contact Fix, will knock your socks off. The first taster of the Derby lads’ sophomoric release came in the form of video single ‘Ben And Barbara’, a pounding track laden with luscious effects and vicious hooks. The second taster has been the release of ‘HBT’ on Musical Mathematics’ latest compilation. We have heard the final masters of Contact Fix and we can assure you that ATC have even more quirky tricks up their sleeve in this release.
Wot Gorilla are a technical, poppy math band from Halifax, which is just up the road from me. It’s grim up Halifax way; I’d avoid it. Thankfully, you don’t have journey to West Yorkshire to hear their super-melodic, semi-nonsensical hooks and intricate guitar lines. A new track, ‘Snow White’, is a great tune that seems to be sending a lot of love in the musical direction of Tubelord, never a bad thing. They are currently back in the studio to record their 7043rd release (not really – they just have a lot of EPs). Details are sketchy but it’s sure to be awesome.
And So I Watch You From Afar
With a tantalising picture of a completed master on their Facebook page, guitar hook titans And So I Watch You From Afar recently teased us with their fourth studio album, the anticipated follow-up to 2013’s All Hail Bright Futures, possibly the most ecstatically joyous record I’ve ever heard. Given their crazy experimentation with steel drums, trumpets and more, it will be intriguing to see where the Irishmen’s eccentric compositions go next.
San Diego’s prodigal padawans CHON have produced some of the most technical and beloved work in the math genre (at least according to you lot – they topped our Mid-Year Report for 2014), so I’m sure it comes as no surprise that we are all beyond eager to hear new material from them. They’ll soon be putting out their fourth release, this time on Sumerian Records. I’m a UK republican at heart but if I had to live under royalty then math rock could do worse than crown CHON their divinely appointed leaders.
Congrats for getting signed, this is definitely one to look out for in Spring 2015!
Mylets, a.k.a Henry, has been weaving complex math-emo-rock tunes as a one-man band with his array of pedals and drum machines for years. His first full length release, Retcon, dropped in 2013, collecting together prior work. A musically ‘matured’ Mylets is what I’m expecting from his new release, judging from such post-Retcon greats as ‘Honeypot‘ and (confusingly) ‘Retcon‘. Prepare to see him push his already insane technical skills even further. In the meantime enjoy this magical picture of Henry in 2010.
There must be something in the water in Ireland. Kilkenny’s Enemies are at it once again, working on a followup to their stellar (and criminally underappreciated) 2013 release Embark, Embrace. They started in November. It’s called Nighthawks. It probably has guitars. It will be magical. Irish math rock continues it’s proud stride towards world domination. Now if they can just persuade The Redneck Manifesto to start writing new stuff…
What is it about Brighton and great music? If you enjoyed ‘Castrovalva’, the latest track from UK math trio Polymath, or any other of the scatterings of tracks they’ve put out over the last few years, you’ll be thrilled to hear they’re finally releasing something more substantial! Their upcoming EP, Reptiles, slithered its way into our music vaults and we can assure you it will kick face when it is released in February. You might even see it on our website prior to. What?
If the idea of an indie pop band with math rock instrumentation behind it riffing at 4000 mph appeals to you, or alternatively if you were really sad when Dananananaykroyd broke up, prepare to wrap your brain around Postmadonna’s new album. Their fantastic new single, also featured on Musical Mathematics’ This One’s Eight, most certainly does not ‘Cater To The Slackers’ – you’re gonna have to be on your toes to keep up with this one. Imagine an American TTNG on a caffeine rush, and you have at least one iota of what to expect from their 2015 EP.
Uber-melodic mathlords TTNG talked in a recent interview with Restless Cities about recording a followup to 22.214.171.124.0 soon. If you’re a lucky soul you might have seen them performing a new song, code-named ‘Snoopy’, on tour. Some kind fellow caught it on video with Henry (of Mylets) jamming along, and it sounds pretty awesome. It can also be seen here recorded by Small Pond at TTNG’s ArcTanGent performance, in higher fidelity though with 100% less Mylets.
I’ll always resent Henry Tremain the no-longer-existence of Pennines, but TTNG are magical as ever.
Perhaps only guilty of taking the genre ‘math rock’ a little too seriously, Equations are an electro-math group from Portugal. Their new album comes out in February next year, and it’s sure to be rammed full of the bleeps, bloops and similar assorted electronic noises that populated their first release, Frozen Caravels. You can also check out the new single, ‘Ascent’. It’s quite a change from their early stuff in vocal terms – much more melodic, though similarly odd.
The Physics House Band
The Physics House Band blew me away with their 2013 debut, a dizzying and intricately composed set of tracks incorporating ghostly electronics into their psych-math-jazz-prog sound. The speed of their ascendency to the forefront of the math scene is testament to their talent and originality. Given that, I’m sure you’ll all be pleased to hear they recently posted live recordings of two awesome new tracks: ‘Electric Frontier‘ and ‘Surrogate Head’ (below). Thanks for capturing these, Small Pond Recordings. Our detective work also turned up pictures of drums surrounded by microphones – I deduce that more PHB is on the way next year.
As a resident of Sheffield, UK, I’ve always had a soft spot for locals Rolo Tomassi, so news that they are working on their 4th LP was pretty exciting. Mathcore, math rock and a healthy dose of experimental music have always formed part of their heavy and abrasive sound, but recent records have seen them become a tighter songwriting outfit and they’ve sanded off some of the messy edges more prominent in their first couple of records. If their recent split with Stockades gave any indication though, get excited: they sound as dark, chaotic and inscrutable as ever.
The Bulletproof Tiger
If you enjoy your music super technical, impossible to predict and packaged behind a vomit inducing front cover, look no further than The Bulletproof Tiger. It’s bright, taptastic, full-throttle math rock that pulls no punches, and you can’t help but like a band who name their songs things like ‘Sometimes I Feel So Sick At The State Of The World I Can’t Even Finish My Second Apple Pie.’ With that degree of facetiousness in mind, it’s hard to say whether their Facebook post “new music is in the works. for reals this time. we’re done fucking around…… bitch” can be taken as gospel. This post dates back to February, but a more recent post in December remarks “we’re doing things and stuff“. We may well see something new in 2015 but, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, please less dirty baby mouths.
If I had to pick one word to describe Quadrilles, it would probably be ‘twee’. But in a good way. In a very good way. In any case, they recently funded another album of their trademark ultra-melodic math-pop via Kickstarter, and I can’t wait to get it in my ears, where it will undoubtedly get lodged for years with all of their other choruses.
Olympians are a great little UK indie math pop band with glockenspiels and guitars and stuff. Their songs are full of earworms, vocal harmonies and catchy sing-alongs, and if their latest effort, ‘Brunch Cannon‘, is any indication of how good the whole album is going to be, then I’m not going to stop listening to it all year.
Words do not do Tigran justice…
As you know, Pneu are a cross between Lightning Bolt and an angry bulldozer. Their long-bloody-awaiting follow up to 2011’s Highway To Health is called Destination Qualité and it is arriving at your face on January 27th. An exclusive stream of the title track, ‘Municipal Geographic’, was made public in November. If you have 3235 other tabs open right now, check some live footage of the track below. See? It’s going to be astounding.
Hey, remember how that Chicago band Monobody kind of showed up this year, seemingly out of thin air? Well, as you’d expect, the giant Loose Lips Sink Ships, Renaissance Sound/Para-medics Voltron-esque supergroup are recording their debut album. The as-yet-untitled LP comprises six parts and will be sent to mastering by the end of January, with a vinyl release scheduled for mid-Spring (US). Reflecting on the process, bassist Steve says “Mixing songs that have two basses and lots of additional textures is very challenging, in terms of letting all of the nuances poke through and not letting it get too bass-heavy or too muddy“. Godspeed, men, godspeed…
Make sure you keep your eyes peeled for our End Of Year Report, which lists the top 50 math releases of 2014. Results will be released on the 31st of December.