Have you ever taken a mental health break? They’re wild. A few weeks ago, or possibly several months ago subconsciously, we knew we needed a quick breather from the barrage that is the operation of Fecking Bahamas.
Obviously, not because we don’t love it – it’s just that for all the anxiety we’ve developed over staying on top of things, we’ve also come up with dozens of ideas to keep the site fresh in our minds. These ideas might take years, but the results will likely be worth it – for instance, when are we going to put out a T-Shirt? What about that book we’ve been working on? Where is our next Fest going to take place? And just for good measure, what would a Fecking Bahamas video game look like?
Well, all these things are projects are in the conceptual / pre-production phase, with some ideas further along than we can say. All we can say right now is, despite the intense workload, we’re excited. It’s not that we’re bored of writing or math rock, it’s just that there is so much more to life to experience.
But we’re not the only ones who have been busy – for now, let’s experience a heap of the latest math rocks together, and celebrate that 2023 seems to be one of math rock’s most rewarding years yet.
Cotoba – Water Blue Indigo (Single)
Cotoba opens things up with an emotive essay of sorts on their new single “Water Blue Indigo.” It’s a beautiful song, and even as it switches from meter to meter, you barely notice as you hone in on the core of what’s happening. At it’s quietest moments, a monologue is accompanied by some expertly delayed guitar noise that indeed, recalls water, fish, and birds. One day, we hope to get that good at using a delay to tell a story – until then, we’ve got Cotoba, and that’s really all we need.
Kyori – Lejos de casa (EP)
Kyori, one of South America’s premier math rock and/or indie bands is close to our hearts, and how could they not be? One of the genre’s most beloved international organizers, Juan Godfrid, fronts the band, and has been helping us prototype a Twitch stream that some of you might have tuned into. But regardless of any of the band’s associations, Lejos de casa is a hard-hitting, fantastically executed record you’ll be glad you checked out, with discordantly tap-heavy runs and transportive production.
Their/They’re/There – Three EPs (LP)
At this point it’s just facts: it’s good to hear a bunch of songs this great at once. TTT has been making waves out of Chicago in the emo revival scene since 2013, but they’ve never abandoned the math rock love that helped them get it rolling, and it’s great to witness the evolution of their sound in one sitting.
Bend the Knee – Eyes Behind the Algorithm (LP)
If you’ve got an itch for something heavy, prog-y, and slightly strange, you’re going to love Bend the Knee. Their LP Eyes Behind the Algorithm is a sludgy, progressive mathcore powerhouse, with some seriously deceptive riffs. While undeniably metallic and core-friendly, underneath a good portion of the guitar playing and overall composition is a highly exotic web of theory, with a subtle slyness in songs like “Prodigal Son” and”The Darkness Shines Your Name,” which echo the fascinations of early Between the Buried and Me and The Number Twelve Looks Like You. Brace yourself.
Joseph A. Peragine – Mantra (LP)
This is potentially the release on this list we’re the most excited about, but we’ll save it for another time. Mantra, because it’s from Joseph A. Peragine, was always going to be rad. And of course, we knew it would have backings from his longtime partner in mathematic crime, Chris Pennie of The Dillinger Escape Plan. However, drastically upping our heartbeat here is none other than the presence of Don Caballero‘s Damon Che. Even if you haven’t been able to get on with Peragine’s hyper-technical song structures up to this point, this another evolution in the steps he took with 33, which displayed a moderate Don Cab influence. Come for the obligatory greatness of the legendary drummers, sure, but stay for the absolutely vibing instrumentals on top of them.
Offensive Bias – Relativity Collapse (EP)
Um, maybe before we try to say anything about this one, check it out for yourself. Borderline defiant of categorization to the point of sonic violence, this New Jersey warhead might garner comparisons to <Behold! The Arctopus, Psyopus and Pound, but there’s something else here hidden in the mucky-muck. You’ve just got to listen to it to hear it, you know?
Side Effects of Being Milkboy – The Mixtape EP (EP)
Well, we brought this on ourselves really, the song above is weird, but this is the ideal solution – this one is even weirder. It’s not as heavy, but honestly, it’s kind of hilarious – like, several double takes worth of hilarious. Or maybe it’s hellish? It’s hard to say with its well placed samples, bizarre slush-wave and DnB antics, and army of effects, but being Milkboy is an experience we’d actually recommend. It’s not as bad as it sounds – just listen.
Danish Cuckolds – Cleaning Your Roof is Not an Easy Job (LP)
Hell, let’s just keep the weird thing going. This Serbian duo isn’t quite so much weird as they are flagrantly funny, at least as far as their chosen band name is concerned. The music, however, is serious in as hell. The phrasing and composition here is downright ridiculous, and if this is in any way how dexterously demanding it is to clean a Danish roof, we’re way happier to watch, or you know, just listen. Wait… what did we even just say?
Fly Fly Triceratops – So Many Ghosts (EP)
London’s latest blowup in terms of outrageously fun math rock, Fly Fly Triceratops aims to party with their debut EP, and as far as we’re concerned, mission accomplished. With distinct delivery and haunting post-punk guitars, So Many Ghosts wastes no time convincing your ear drums to play along with its jagged, sentimental edge.
Fall of the Albatross – Rite (Pre-order / Single)
Well how the heck about that? Every once in a while we stumble across Fall of the Albatross’ debut EP Entanglement. While we sadly lost track of them shortly after that, partly because we were not ready for that level of sass at the time, their place among peers like Genghis Tron and Candiria was hard to overlook. We’re older now though, and we are stoked to report they are back with an equally heavy and melodic riff-fest that we’re truly excited about.
Tempus – Vida Colorida (Pre-Order / LP)
We were actually pretty stoked to be able to throw on this last-minute Latvian release – the band’s new single teases a heavy prog feel with post-rock sensibilities not unlike Ukraine’s Vovk, but with wilder twists and chunky pillars of distorted guitars.
Lofting – Life and Other Words for It (LP)
Pennsylvania’s Lofting deliver a heart-stopping dirge with Life and Other Words for It, no bones about it. At times lacerative and gritty, at other times uncanny and sweet, it’s an extremely varied journey that took us back to Faraquet. With its DIY but perfectly fit production, who knows – this record might just end up with a similar cult following. It’s high praise to be sure, but check it out before you think it’s too far-fetched.
Barrier Reef – Until the Clouds Appear (LP)
Of course, Japan is veritable breeding ground for incredible acts in jazz and math rock, if not pretty much any genre of music. But Barrier Reef stands out despite the immense shadow cast by peers like Paranoid Void and Toe, and their new LP is a fantastically whimsical take on what it means to be boundary-less in math rock – don’t miss it!
Zveruga – S/T (EP)
Well, how about that dog? No, not you. The dog. Look. We don’t know how to take that, but what we do know is that this obscure little nugget out of Saint Petersburg is highly engrossing. Much like the cover, it feels like it’s somewhere between profoundly stoned and decidedly… based. It’s grungy, but the more it trudges along with its nasty bass and chaotic trumpet solos, the more we want to keep it going.
Circuit Circuit – Body Songs (EP)
Bursting with squelching, grinding, glitch punk, this sassy Tennessee outfit brings a level of intensity to something resembling post-hardcore in a way we haven’t seen in a while. Somewhere between Body Void and Exotic Animal Petting Zoo, it’s a filthy combo, but easily digestible and recommended if you’re looking for something heavy and technical, but not for the sake of being heavy or technical.
SOVVY – Hapistructure (EP)
This EP from Russia’s SOVVY is a meticulously crafted love letter to moments in life anyone in life can relate to. This isn’t accomplished through words of course, but through sonic renderings of emotional and highly soundscapes not unlike a budding Brian Eno, or even Oneohtrixpointnever, but with the a dose of 2000’s era soul-tools projects like 88 Keys or Nosaj Thing.
Bwux – Packet of Air Density (EP)
We couldn’t let this Tuesday go by without throwing you a curveball of some sort, and we’re not saying this is the only one, but it is the only one that sounds like this. Because not a lot out there sounds like this. If you’re a fan of what rhythm centric projects like Louis Cole and Domi and JD Beck are doing, but still like math rock, this one might click in unique ways for you with it’s minimal, inquisitive nature.
Prang – S/T (EP)
Math rock from Brazil that you can dance to, cry to, and shred to, what else do you want? Prang’s emotive EP shows a lot of promise, balancing the occasional heavy moments with tons of unexpected breaks and melodic wanderings. It’s an undeniably math rock affair, but even if you’re sick of those words, you just might be surprised by how quickly you’re convinced to stick around.
Macho Muchacho – Lo Mejor Está por Morir (EP)
Coming in with a sense of swagger one rarely associates with a picture of a man on the floor with a DL-4, Macho Muchacho is actually quite a taste of the Ecuadorian mystique. Just check out what they did with those loops on the title track – the way they blend them with those heavenly pads in the background is sublime, and whatever these guys put out in the future, we hope we hear about it.
a I l u r I a – top
No, we don’t know what any of it means, and we don’t intend to find out – we are just riding these waves, man. A I l u r I a is a beat-centric, not-quite-dance but not-quite-prog kind of trip, which seems like it leaves a lot of space between to fall into, but trust us – this Mexican project is more than capable of showing us the way.
Paralian – Plastic Clouds (EP)
We don’t get too many opportunities to jam music from Istanbul, and this recent discovery has a truly distinct flavor to it. It’s a prog-heavy venture, so it might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but there are a lot of off-time switches in the drums, which allows for some wild phrasing with the guitars and bass, so if you’re a musician you might find yourself fascinated by the harmonies and shred of songs like “Honey Sphere” and the title track.
District Five – Pause (LP)
Sheeeeeesh, here is one for you jazz heads – with a twist. The Swedish four-piece’s latest LP, Pause, is almost like a mellow cousin to the beloved Strobes, and features striking atmospheric / electronic elements, many in shades of euro-funk, early 2000’s electro, and film samples. So it’s certainly not like anything else on this list, but if you need to zone out, or perhaps even zone in, District Five is where you’ll want to go.
Fighting Jazz – Time Away
Many of you are sure to eat this one up – one of Oregon’s newest math rock bands, Time Away is a strut-inducing marvel of a record, and it comes pretty much out of nowhere. Oregon, you son of a bitch, you’ve done it again. All hastily written, homesick jokes aside, it’s true. Get swept away by its sultry mists above and thank us later.
JOMO – Joy of Missing Out (EP)
If you’re looking for a balls-out, punk fueled misdirect from some cantankerous Long Beach residents, that somehow still fits into math rock, you’ve absolutely struck gold. JOMO’s EP is as DIY as it gets, and wears it on its sleeve in the most glorious, genre-crushing way. Just give it a rip and see what happens.
Squitch – Tumbledown Mountain (LP)
Damn, it has been a while since we heard a band that reminded us of Great Grandpa. Squitch is an emotional yet effortlessly entertaining act who have been around since 2016, if not longer, and Tumbledown Mountain is filled with the sound of graceful confidence only that amount of experience can bring.
As Silent as The Forest – Tranquility (EP)
The Philippines are truly a sleeper-hit when it comes to outstanding musical taste, and we’re always glad to be hearing bands from that region. This groove-heavy, sudsy EP winds through a number of dynamics that glide back and forth through math rock and indie seamlessly, so if you’re looking for something laid back with lots of texture, this is your bag.
Gabba – Recollections (LP)
Speaking of the Philippines, both As Silent as The Forest above and Gabba here both share a hometown of Manila. What’s sweet is you can really hear a difference between the two, even if the two are going for math rock. Gabba’s got a sweet thing going though, deftly undulating between progressive metal influenced guitar parts and ambient shoegazing, which occasionally triples down with spacey, house-friendly production.
Cougars – COUGS (EP)
Chicago’s sludgiest newcomers, Cougars is a far gnarlier affair than we thought when we first checked them out. Like a haunted Protomartyr or revitalized Grinderman, the band terrorizes their way through post-punk and noise with an unmistakable Windy City attitude. It’s loud as all hell, but some of the best things in life are, and we highly recommend trying COUGS at least once.
Taking Meds – Dial M for Meds (Pre-Order / LP)
Taking Meds has already established themselves as a go-to for anyone feeling needing some pep in their step, but without taking their eyes off the floor. The band continues to wring emotional moments from their biting tongue in cheek lines, and the music behind it is only getting better, with singles like “Outside” teasing a more multi-faceted sound without abandoning any of their signature dynamics. We’re dialing M as soon as it’s out.
Warren of Ohms – Not Just a Phase Vol. 2 (Single)
This sassy, grinding post-hardcore project from Tempe, Arizona practically spills over with vitriol by the time it’s over, and don’ be surprised if you find yourself eagerly seeking out the smallest drip. Warren of Ohms has an addictive quality that might be subconsciously initiated by relatively short run-times, but it’s consistently killer – the songs could go on for several minutes and we would just keep head banging.
Yerfdaas – quest 4 premium (EP)
Okay. Okay. Yeah we’ve just sat down with this one with zero context and feel as if we’ve been bashed with Nick Reinhard’s pedalboard then force-fed a fifth of tequila – and we mean that as a compliment. If you think you can handle the above effects, no pun intended, we highly recommend checking this out this EP if you’re looking for a taste of chaos a la Tera Melos and Hella.
Gwuak! – Summertime Concrete (LP)
Okay guys, you had us at ‘ridiculous and abbreviated pun for guacamole.’ Like, we feel heavily manipulated here. But we’re glad you did it – this flavorful and fun LP is full of surprises, and you’ll be missing out on a lot if you don’t jam Summertime Concrete this instant.
TSOSIS – Second Nature (Pre-Order / LP)
The second single from the project formerly known as The Speed of Sound in Seawater, “Snake Eat Tail” should hopefully soothe fans of the projects former incarnation with it’s moody runs and jazz-tinged verses. It’s a fun little jaunt through Damien’s alternate melodic universe, and we’re looking forward to what other characteristics are unveiled once Second Nature is fully out.
Oxx – The Primordial Blues (Pre-Order / LP)
You know, if you’d have told us we were about to hear even just a Danish interpretation of the blues, we’d be interested. But this is actually pretty far from that… for the most part. On its surface, The Primordial Blues is brutal and fast moving without becoming thrash-y, but moment after moment, subtle piano pieces kick in that are certainly jazz influenced, maybe even… no, it couldn’t be. Listen, we might be wrong – you’d better decide for yourself though, because what we’ve heard so far is pretty thrilling.
Octopoulpe – Alt-164 (LP)
Lord, this one-squid project goes hard out of Mexico City. With tones of mathcore goodness and a sack full of video game samples, this noisy tapestry comes in shades of Melt-banana and Black Matter Device, finished off with an immaculately dirty finish courtesy of Boston’s legendary God City Studios.
Southpaw Sonata – “Phantom Zone” (Single / Music Video)
Closing things out is Texas-bred Southpaw Sonata, who put out a video a few weeks ago we were slow to catch, but the song grips you immediately. “Phantom Zone” has some great vocal lines and wicked guitar leads, and despite the crunch, it all comes across an extremely graceful exercise. We’re really stoked to hear, or see, whatever’s coming next.
That about does it for the most massive Tuesday Music Dump of the year, we’d say. Any more, and we’d have to drive to the hospital. Be sure to jam them all, and if you wanna buy us a coffee for collecting all these baddies, you are most welcome – do it here. We’ve got more coming soon from Neck Bolt, All Structures Align, Oneder Effects, and more! Thanks for reading, and hey, keep an eye out for those things we mentioned in the intro… you never know when we just might drop something massive. Kind of like today.