math rock
Sam Gehrke


In terms of music, it’s been a truly sweet year. Since January, we’ve been inundated with excellence far and wide, sometimes from places we never expected. In fact, while compiling our upcoming top 25, for the first time in years we said to ourselves, “damn, I think we need a bigger list.” It’s certainly, our boldest, most eclectic collection to date.

Ultimately, we are going to stick to 25 – a top 50 would cover it, but it would also be a slog to write. That being said, this year’s torrential downpour of amazing releases helped us realize a few things. So many of us are growing up and branching out – even trying new things altogether. As we cautiously stepped outside from a years worth of isolation, we embraced much beyond math rock’s cutesy, sometimes even tepid boundaries. From electronic side projects to hardcore supergroups, you decided to put it all out there – expectations be damned. And dare we say it, you made inspiring progress while doing so.

We saw you appear in big time ads, level-up your live shows, and write some stellar tunes. But perhaps most importantly, we watched you stop comparing yourself to others: so many of you came out of your shells and tried something different, whether personally or musically. That old adage came to mind: necessity is the mother of invention. It’s dawning on us that so much of 2021 was just that: invention. Pent up, downright necessary invention. Sometimes, even re-invention. You might say we’ve been encouraged to broaden up our own spectrum over here at Fecking.

No, we’re not going to start covering EDM, turn into mathrockinjection, or put in some kind of paywall. To be honest, we don’t really want to change much. But we are more inspired than ever to find ways to commit more time to writing and improving the site. We have bands, jobs, and the crumbling of western civilization to deal with just like everyone else – but y’all made us proud this year. Exceptionally proud. We want to keep doing right by you, the folks we’re always on about.

So keep sending those messages to our socials. Keep sending those emails. We apologize for leaving you on read, but we do listen, and we do repost… when we’re there. Just try to introduce yourself whenever you do, it goes a long way! You already know things like Facebook and Instagram are… well, relatively lame spaces, ran by downright suspect agents and algorithms. So being the obvious crock that it is, we’ve always aimed at giving you a better experience. There are more than enough pages putting out emoji-hyped newsflashes every ten minutes. And hey, we love them just as much as you do. Ultimately, they probably save us a lot of time. Fecking has just always been more of a deep-dive, rabbit hole kind of ride. At least, that’s what people tell us.

It’s also been a gas to revive old columns like This Is Your Life and Tuesday Music Dump (more of those soon!) but it does all take hours of work – even if we enjoy the heck out of it. So we’re gonna try something simple first, like Buy Me A Coffee, where you can do simply that. You’d be surprised how intertwined coffee is to the output of this blog, and we’d be grateful for any donations towards this all-important resource, but it’s no biggie. We do have a new compilation in the works, and some possible merchandise on the horizon too, so all in good time.

But what about you?

At large, this year’s wave of expansive post-punkers (Black Country, New Road, Shame) lovingly crushed a number of musical boundaries, smugly cruising through and around various incarnations of math rock. Heavy music (Portrayal of Guilt, Full of Hell, Frontierer) released some of the most cacophonously complex noise we heard all year. The alternative hip-hop scene (Lil Simz, Injury Reserve, JPEGMAFIA) had a number of stunning moments as well. And we’re pretty sure everyone reading this got at least a little obsessed with the latest Turnstile.

There were some great moments closer to home as well. Polymath and Luo released hauntingly exquisite electronic albums, bridging a unique gap between cyberspace and math rock. Bent Knee and their myriad of inter-related side projects (Adam Neely and Ben Levin, Justice Cow) pushed a hyper-blend smoothie of math, IDM, and bubblegum pop that brought took already their mystical sense of songwriting skills to adventurous new heights. We saw glorious returns from old standbys like Mogwai, Kowloon Walled City, and maybeshewill.

To attempt to sum it all up is difficult. The more we think about it, the more we come up with, and the more we want to write. We’re filled with this vague premonition that somehow, the best is yet to come. Like the cycles of the last so many years have become self-aware, ready now to transcend convention wherever its encountered.

So please believe us when we say it warms our bones against the unsettling holiday chill that our coverage means anything to you, because we’re pretty big fans of yours as well. Keep doing what you’re doing, and don’t be afraid to go a little crazy. That’s where the good stuff’s at.

As always, we appreciate your support. More importantly, we appreciate you. If you wanna help us get our caffeine fix and keep up with the site, sock it to us over at But only if you want to. Coming up we’ve got a couple more reviews, a guest analysis or two on the intersections of math rock and prog, and of course, our top 25. Stay tuned – we fecking love you.