math rock


Lord, it would be sick if we could get a break. Musicians, out of all the artists, have the toughest job at the end of day because their product is invisible. It’s just our opinion of course, but in a society that needs to see something to believe it, it’s a precarious position.

Luckily, the last decade or so has seen the rise of Bandcamp, the popular artist storefront that we host our own bands on, and link all of yours at the end of every article. We’ve done this because it’s the most reliable way to increase the chances that someone might actually spend money on your band.

It’s a bit ugly sounding, because fuck doing things exclusively for money, but more than pay itself, we want artists to feel appreciated. On a personal level, I hesitate to even estimate the hundreds, possibly thousands of dollars I’ve put towards projects with zero return at best, including things like PR campaigns and publicists.

But again, that’s why we’re here. We’re not saying we’re the biggest or the best, but we will say we’ve always been here to elevate this community in everything we do. Selling a record or T-shirt is exponentially more helpful than streaming revenue, and sending readers to Bandcamp at the end of damn near every article has been instrumental in making that happen.

So with the announcement of Songtradr laying off half of the company and rumors of imminent unwelcome changes to Bandcamp at large, we’d figure we’d take this chance to share your stuff for what might be the last time until there’s a viable alternative. Like your favorite venue, like your favorite music retailer, like your favorite record shop… all to the wayside in the name of terminal, late-stage capitalism.

You’ve got to wonder why these money hungry motherfuckers hate music so much. If it all goes down the way it looks on paper, was once a vital marketplace for the DIY musician will become another grim reminder that it might not be the end of the world, but for musicians, it’s the end of an era, and the bottom of the money pit. We’re not going to put a link to donations at the end on this one – this one’s for you, and only you. If you want you can pick up a compilation of ours on Bandcamp while it all lasts. But for now, let’s get to what y’all have been up to since the last Tuesday Music Dump a couple months back. It’s a hell of a lot.

Oavette – S/T (LP)

Fans of the iconic but tragically defunct Strobes, rejoice – there’s a new polyrhythmic electro-powerhouse in town. Well, in Japan. With nimble but authoritive hold on synth-y stabs, melting guitars, and extreme long division, Oavette has put out something unstoppable, yet indescribably subtle. Do not sleep.

Approaching Gold – Gloaming (EP)

Damn, that’s a hot bass tone right there. Approaching Gold’s latest offering is exciting as hell, with a fairly theatric mix of prog, math rock, and singer/songwriting abilities, forming a high degree of uniqueness in record time. The thundering drums and piano wizardry almost help create a trio of storytellers rather than musicians, but rest assured – this is a masterclass in both.

Dylan Lounsberry – Mastication 2 (LP)

You know, when we first started at the blog, we were seeing Dylan’s name all over the place. We actually thought he was part of the Fecking Bahamas writer’s team! Sadly, we were wrong, but luckily he is continuing making his presence known in other ways, like these delightful synth EP’s that draw from math rock, post-rock, and a host of video game scores. This one is very easy to get lost in, so beware – but it feels good.

Brick Dust – Simple Tales (LP)

Classic midwest vibes out of Geneva? We’re all about it – check out those swirling tap-tone harmonies. We say ‘tap-tone’ because one of the most refreshing things about Simple Tales is the balance in the mix when it comes to the guitars, which sound perfectly smooth while never overshadowing the whispery, but effective vocals. If only more music with these dynamics was this easy on the ears.

Inuit Pagoda – Flows (LP)

We don’t even know what this is, to be honest – it’s got grooving percussion, string arrangements, hiccuping synths, and octopus drums, but somehow manages to make all of this feel minimal, meditative even. The record’s icy overtones might originate from the band’s hometown of Biel, Switzerland, but each detail drips with universal mystique.

Speorg – Incommunicado (LP)

Um… have you ever wondered what it would be like if Solid Snake or Big Boss teamed up with Faith No More to make a noise album containing the saga and innermost secrets of Metal Gear and all associated lore? If that sounds like your thing, well… get yourself a VPN and then listen to this thing front to back. Thank you for your service, Speorg.

Moshi Moshi and The Moist Boys – Skooma and Deathrolls (LP)

You don’t title your fantastically catchy emo-crust-whatever after our favorite illicit substance in all of Tamriel without getting a tip of the hat from the Bahamas. You just don’t. But hey, while we’re here, this record fucks if you’re into bands like Angeldu$t, Viagra Boys, or Hyper Olympic.

Catnip Cloud – Frog Lake (LP)

Okay, it shouldn’t surprise us at this point that we find ourselves gravitating to things like IDM and house to find new textures, but we will say this – we are routinely surprised by how often this inspiration runs both ways. Oslo’s Catnip Cloud’s latest LP is a fantastic example of the ways modular synth, IDM, and progressive instrumental music can create something truly fresh and inspiring, no matter what your claimed genre might be.

Makoto – “New Game+” (Single)

Makoto finally gets one of gaming’s most requested features with their latest update… sorry, latest single. “New Game+” is a radically delicious trip through psychedelic Nintendo rips and prog-meets-math-meets-fusion licks, and features our boy Francisco from Mold! and Pavlov’s Bell on the drums!

FNCTR – Lude (LP)

For the delightfully unhinged and prog-obsessed, we offer unto you something… well, pretty exciting. Kyoto’s FNCTR gets nasty with a series of lude ruminations numbered 1-5. Between a saxophone, synthesizer, bass, and drums, the band guitar-less magic that ‘constructs non-trivial examples of spontaneous dynamic continua.’ We might not know quite what that means, but we know that we’re into it.

Prune Deer – 4th Album (LP)

There’s something incredibly inviting about Prune Deer’s latest record, despite its seasick, off-kilter melodies and jazz maestro rhythm section. Actually, maybe not despite those things, but because of them – songs like “Feathering” and “Cyanide” are filled to the brim with textures that bristle with life and weird patterns, making for one of the best surprises of the year so far.

Serafin – No Push Collide (LP)

Serafin is on their way up on the world in terms of touring with bands like Frank Black and Muse, and it’s kind of a shock – but that’s not because they’re not rad. In fact, the band’s strong mix of swaggering bar rock and surreal, slurred odd-meters certainly make it more interesting than the average rock record – it’s far from underground, but check it out if you can take things a little simpler, a little louder, and a lot of fun.

Aren’t We Amphibians – Emergency, Exit (EP)

More Midwest flavored goodness from an unlikely place – the west coast. That being said, this San Diego band mixes things up with some Tiny Moving Parts and Hikes sauce in there as well, so no matter what region you associate these amphibians with, they ought to float towards the top of the pile.

Memoirs – Been Better // Moon Cuts (EP)

Once swan-core grows out of being so horny it can’t support its own weight, it becomes something like this. Without leaving obligate post-hardcore influences like DDG, Closure in Moscow and Fall of Troy behind, Portland’s Memoirs cover a lot of ground with emotive style and grace.

The Refectory – Empty Weather (EP)

Written over the course of two weeks, these five songs are a balancing act of earnest urgency, atmospheric dread, and contemplative post-punk. Fans of the band’s unique heavy sound won’t be disappointed, though – tracks like “Amidst the Fire” and “And Cleft the Light” still punch like poetic heavyweight champs.

Sheila – S/T (EP)

Sheila take Portuguese math rock and rolling, progressive indie to expansive places with this self-titled EP, and it’s worth the trip. Drenched in echoes and delay, it doesn’t exactly cross over into post-rock, but it does add a strange twist to heavy prog somewhere between Leña, Paranoid Void, and Town Portal.

Paperchamps – God Knows We Tried (EP)

Pop-punk meets math rock and emo might sound like a tired mix on paper, but listen – we can bring it back to life, and if you listen to Paperchamps latest EP, you’ll realize we should. If it means we get some EP’s as sweet as God Knows We Tried, those little Frankensteins will be well loved.

Mossy Cow – Cosmovores (EP)

With a name like Mossy Cow, we weren’t sure what to expect. Bovine midwest? Midwest Beef-o? But the band’s from Salem, Oregon, and that’s a place that’s seen its share fair of cows. Luckily, that’s got nothing to do with the instrumental shred these heifers bring to the table.

Percal Dropouts – Moving Fourth (EP)

We’re not sure if it’s a squirrel or a cat with wings, which you’d think we’d be able to, but it’s pretty artwork, we know that much. It’s also a spirited take on math rock from the Philippines, so if you’re looking for something like Totoro meets ASIWYFA, you’d better check it out.

Celebration Guns – Quitter: 10th Anniversary Remaster (EP)

This Arizona quartet puts a spacey spin on math rock and emo with stabbing guitar lines and pieces that pop in and out of time like disjointed limbs. “Go to Sleep” is a damn near classic single, and while no math rock band will ever be recognized the way they deserve, hopefully this remaster inspires more people to check out CB in the future.

Stripes. – 90’s Breakdance Machine (EP)

To Adelaide, to Adelaide… what, you think we’re just singing along to Over the Garden Wall? No – we’re setting course for Australia to find 90’s Breakdance Machine, and on the way, we’re learning how to break down. Sorry, break dance – this emo-meets-webcore gem has got us twisted in the best of ways.

Burrow – two (EP)

Burro has a complete and utter handle on the ironic song title thing, with titles like “if this were a hardcore project, this song would be called intro” and “why isn’t their a rock band called English Soccer?” Those are legitimate as they are goofy, and so are the songs – highly recommended.

AMBULANCE VS AMBULANCE – Angelo Badalamenti is our Elvis

Hey, are you ready to get weird as hell? Because these Italians have yielded 8 songs (or scenes), each filled with their own brand of madness. The mastered version of the record is due Christmas this year, but with Bandcamp being what it is, or what it might not be for much longer, check it out for a spooky good time.

Listen and Interpret – Regressing to a Perfect State (EP)

Wait, Nintendo bleeps and bloops but they’re borderline atonal? And it butts up against freewheeling jazz and industrial ambient at the same time? It’s hard to comprehend, but a sight to behold – sign us up immediately.

White Wire – Crack Up (LP)

French post-punk noise act White Wire slipped us an explosive record a couple months back and we barely even noticed thanks to… you know… the world falling apart and stuff. But in surveying the wreckage of the recent last, we were ecstatic to come across the groups cathartic, pulverizing Crack Up.

All-American Chess Club – Everything is Ruined (EP)

Indiana is widely known for its endless waves of corn, not to be confused with Bakersfield’s legendary Korn. But hopefully, one day, Indiana can be recognized as the haven for emo and post-rock that it actually is, and bands like All-American Chess Club just might make that future possible.

Why Are These Feeling Fleeting? – In Flux (EP)

Listen, um, we know it’s hard – some days, it is literally all bullshit. It seems to get more like that the older you get. We wish could change it. But while you’re here, having the cry you deserve, keep In Flux on in the background. The EP’s quietly dignified beauty is great medicine.

Pulses. – It Wasn’t Supposed to Be Like This (LP)

Now that we’ve dried our tears, it’s time to party, and Pulses. have an interesting take on combining post-hardcore vocals, hip-hop samples, and frenetic, scramz-friendly guitars. For a good time, we think it’s supposed to be like this.

Niko Wood and Maxwell Patterson – Modern Carpentry (LP)

Every once in a while, two drummers get it in their head to hold a tournament of sorts: an endurance match in which both drummers shred like actual madmen, possibly till one of their hearts or heads explode. These two are some of the best drummers in the underground, so grab a seat and prepare to be awed.

Snatcher of Castles – Well Et Do Ass (LP)

Hmmm… yes it will. Probably. Wait, what was the question? Sorry, that’s not an English album title – we thought…. never mind! Regardless, it is a killer indie math rock record, filled with lush instrumentation and captivating vocals. Don’t think about the title, just do it.

Lord Gorgeous – Demos (EP)

We’re drawing a blank right now, but we remember the pretty post-rock of Lord Gorgeous under another name… something to do with a sandwich maybe? But they really landed on a good one this time around, as lordly and gorgeous are words we would use to describe a number of moments across the EP.

Viza-Noir – No Record (LP)

This one’s got style for days, which I could say about many acts from Chicago, but we’ll focus on Viza-noir for now. It’s smart, it’s sharp, and full of post-punk attitude that imparts a feeling part nostalgic, part sonic destruction.

Magic Beach – Blue City (EP)

Magic Beach brings the Midwest math rock home to Cleveland, with all the warmth and comforting lo-fi vibes you’d expect. The band’s debut EP also gives us a bit of the West Coast standards feels as well with the layered production, so we’re big fans no matter what sound they’re associated with. Maybe that’s what the palm trees are all about, but we’re pretty biased.

Elastic Riot – Bordernoia (LP)

This one is for you slow burners and dark night brooders out there. Elastic Riot wouldn’t be out of place on SKiN Graft records with their penchant for noisy, progressive dynamics, but keep things uniquely focused and surreal. It’s a grower for sure, but if you’ve got the attention span, you’re going to find something wild here.

Relatives – Two Wombs (EP)

Looks like Baton Rouge is getting another instrumental prog and math contender! We’re not sure if they’re really related, it just says they’re relatives. But good music is thicker than water, and potentially blood, so it’s all good – the bands got you covered.

Atlas Parlour – S/T (LP)

Hot damn, Spain is at it again with something bewildering and flavorful in the form of Atlas Parlour. Part post-rock, part math rock, and part avant garde electronic, it’s a true menagerie of bedazzling soundscapes that cover all the moods, so definitely sit with the whole thing if you can.

Relationship Advice – Find Your Way Home (EP)

We all need it sometimes, right? And when we get it, it’s not always this sweet – Relationship Advice feels like emo revival because they tap into the eternal magic of breakups, but it doesn’t take itself too seriously, making for an EP that’s truly memorable no matter where you and your significant/insignificant other stand.

Half Empty Glass House – Restricted Repetitive Behavior: An Experiment in the Application of 12-tone Technique to Contemporary Post-Punk Composition (LP)

Okay, that’s just a fucking mouthful, guys. We need some water. But we do understand – you’ve got a lot on your mind, and from what we can tell, much of it is hideously complex and original. Fans of Mike Patton, Fat Randy, and Sleepy Time Gorilla Museum, rejoice… or whatever it is you do.

Team’o Angkor Waht – 10,000 Sights of Angkor Waht (LP)

This chip-tune adventure through what feels like Castlevania is actually inspired by something far more magnificent, as cool as that series is – the ruins of Yoshida Tatsuya, Koenjihyakkei, and avant-prog. We don’t think avant-prog is a ruin site in Angkor Waht necessarily, but we get it, and we like it, and get a kick out of the fact that these guys are actually from Brazil.

Wheobe – Lifedrop (EP)

You know, we find that most French bands really deliver when they say they’re going to. Like we don’t want to generalize, but even today we are struck not just with the mission statement in their Bandcamp, but the visceral execution of it – it’s above and beyond. Come get some harsh prog healing from Wheobe.

Service Delay – February (EP)

This one hits close to home, and we know it will for just about everyone reading this right now – February is an EP dedicated to loved ones lost. Thankfully, despite the heavy weight it carries, it moves like the wind in an exhilarating way, like Taking Meds meets A Wilhelm Scream. Definitely rip this one when you’re alone sometime, though – the waterworks just might kick in.

AM Overcast – Beige (EP)

We really don’t know he does it – AM Overcast is a true scholar when it comes to packing emotional depth into short bursts of time, and Beige, his latest EP, marks another victory in this department. At 1:54, intro / title track actually feels like one of his longest offerings yet, but every single second is worth it. The whole thing goes by in 5 minutes, but in a world brimming with filler, it’s comforting to see someone with a serious handle on quality control.

Cereal Milk – Feast (EP)

This little double single packs a sunny, joyous punch to it, which may come as a surprise to some as it is from Newfoundland. We heard it’s pretty dark out there, but dang, this is bright and candy-coated in a way we’re really gelling with.

Ssighborggg – “Late Pedal, Blade Petal” (Single)

A literal palindrome of sound composed by Ssighborggg, aka the administrator of one of Facebook’s largest math rock groups, Ssighborggg’s Math Rock Memes. And hey, we might be more math than grammar around here, but damn if we aren’t subliminally soothed by these smooth and silky sounds.

Statue in Marble – Waking (EP)

Is it just us or is Arizona getting a lot of spotlight in this article? No matter, we often wonder what’s going on out there anyway. This EP is a young shred dream straight out of the classic CHON playbook, but there are some truly juicy solos and drum sections here that have us really excited for whatever they’re up to next.

Muscle Beach Petting Zoo – “Zoanoid” (Single)

We couldn’t help but slip the penultimate single from Muscle Beach Petting Zoo in there – one, because we’re selfish pricks at the end of the day, and two, we genuinely think you’re going to like it. For fans of weird riffs, obscure animes, and the feeling of not being able to tell your tequila from your sake, but knowing you’re about to get sick from both.

Sun Machine – I Hate it Too (LP)

Thumbs Up Records presents this Milwaukee emo act, and we’re glad they’ve got some support, because they’ve got a great sound. It’s clearly influenced by the classics, but they way slip into discordant passages and deliver such distinct vocals have us thinking they might end up a household name. Who knows, right? Better catch ‘em while you can.

Sincerely – Special Feeling (LP)

Gutsy guitar and bass tones abound on this frolicking math banger, and you’re almost bound to check it out whether you believe or or not after looking at that cover art. That’s about how listening to Special Feeling feels – a rainbow punching you through the guts, refracting in a heart shaped prism. You’re welcome.

Brian Tafazoli – No God in Charlottesville (LP)

From what we can tell here, Brian closes things out here with a one man band extravaganza, and damn is it a good one. With piercing lyrics, big ol’ drums, fantastic production, and vaguely psychedelic swan-core leanings that have us thinking of the experimental days of Silverstein and I Am the Ocean, it’s also a good example of why Bandcamp should work in favor of the artist.

This guy, these guys and gals and thems… all the people we’ve mentioned above, every single one of them, have put a lot of work into this – solely streaming it is probably not going to help them anything else any time soon. So buy a record and a shirt while you can, yeah? We are exhausted and realize that it’s actually Wednesday now. Forget it. We’ll keep ya posted – we love you, and thank you for reading.