TOP PICKS // Our most anticipated albums of 2016

No matter where you are in the world, returning to daily life after a period of holidays sucks. It’s a relatively minor frustration but nonetheless it leaves you feeling empty as you slowly unpack your joy. And you what’s worse? You’re going to die later. And all that labour you’re undertaking is completely superfluous; it aids no one but instead keeps the fleeting, ambiguous and ephemeral human endeavour ticking over. Your life is absurd.

Right, now that we’ve lowered your spirits enough, let’s run through our most anticipated albums of this year. Because at the end of the day, music is one of our solaces. Right now I’m imagining Sisyphus pushing that immense boulder up the hill with an iPod on. We must imagine him happy.


Kilcoole’s Enemies are in the home stretch with their followup to the groove-licious 2013 release Embark, Embrace. The album, Nighthawks, is being recorded as you read, and is set to drop some time mid year. Your first taster comes in the form of the track ‘Play Fire’, which was released in August 2015.

Three Trapped Tigers

Three Trapped Tigers‘ delectable blend of self-proclaimed ‘mathro-beat’ continues to wow punters across the globe. The band have toured with the likes of Deftones and The Dillinger Escape Plan and continue to do my nut in with their uber-complex arrangements. It’s been three years since the release of Route One Or Die, their first LP, and we now have Facebook-based confirmation that their next blast of electronic chaos has been successfully distilled and inserted into CD. The question now is when. The day must be close.

Hey look, it’s Matt Berry…

He Was Eaten By Owls

A few of us Fecks have been keeping our ears on He Was Eaten By Owls, not least because their disjunctive acoustic math rock bears strong resemblance to French greats Cheval De Frise and that unplugged Hella album. Chorus 30 From Blues For The Hitchiking Dead is the name of their upcoming LP, the first instalment of their ‘Inchoate Trilogy’. Some of us have been lucky enough to hear it. It rules, ostensibly. Be ready, as I am.


So math stalwarts and Fernando Botero aficionados TTNG are in the studio right recording their album. Yes, the deed is definitely being done, you don’t need to fit. Go have a biscuit. A tasty morsel of the meal can be enjoyed here recorded by Small Pond at TTNG’s ArcTanGent performance.

Hey it piss.


As much as it is shit, turbo-prog riff riders Cleft are gracing us with a farewell album before they kill themselves. The band came out with their planned demise last year in a Facebook post, something along the lines of “Hello! We’re splitting up“. As Cleft declared their impending demise the boys also announced their crowdfunding campaign for punters to donate to the recording of their final album. Kind of like paying for their funeral, I guess. Hopefully, they use the John Farnham method for quitting Cleft and just… continue being Cleft. We wouldn’t be mad, we love ’em.

Panji and the Buffalo

Speaking of demises, we miss You Slut!, who called it quits in 2014. However, drummer Daz has continued to make music under the name Panji and the Buffalo. His EP Rare Moves will drop in early 2016 and we just know that it’s going to have all the wacky propensity of You Slut! Don’t believe us? Have a listen to ‘Taneo’ below, cretin…


Yawn, yes we know it’s not math rock. But we owe half our scene to Tortoise. Their dynamic approach to music making and distinct sonic identity has influenced many of today’s math rock greats, including Alarmist and Battles. Tortoise will release The Catatrophist, their first album in seven years, on January 22nd. Get a load of the juicy chord progressions in ‘Gesceap’ below, and post rock bands take note.

Stage Kids

We are pretty excited about the return of San Diego’s Stage Kids, following a hiatus of a good five years. In September the band wrote on their Facebook “All of us Stage Kids are proud to say recording is finally done. After some mixing and mastering we’ll have a finalized product for your hearing pleasure“. This leads us to surmise that 2016 is the year of album dropping. If not, they’re fucking lazy.


We had hoped that veterans Cinemechanica would release their well-hyped new record in 2015. We were wrong. But lo, the band has been premiering new tracks from the record at shows across the US (see below). 2016 has to be year. If you want any suggestion of where math rock has been and where it may well be going, this may be the record you need. In the meantime, check out their wonderfully innovative 2006 LP The Martial Arts.


The Physics House Band, nuito, Penguinsmeat, The Bulletproof Tiger