You mean to tell me this takes its influences, internalizes them, then adds their own character to it? God after sifting through many of the new vangaurd of pointless math rock this is a welcome breath of fresh air.  At times reminiscent of Hella at their most frantic and Cap’n Jazz when things cool down but without sounding like either one too much, this is serious stuff.

Guitars, while maybe not as incredibly complex as some peers, use space well and only clutters (clutter in a great way) notes where it seems needed shifting between  pretty runs and almost blues influenced playing.

Now these drums for me are the gem in the sceptre.  They dance around the guitar at an inhuman speed litering these pieces with devilish fills.  9 times out of 10 if the guitar is playing some chunky chord progression the drums are pouring hot lava over them playing like an unhinged mad man.  Although even the drums know how to reign it in for slower sections with the help of keyboard (played at the same time) which works to the groups advantage.

You can talk about influences all you want.  The fact is this is a band thats only going to get better and better with each turn.  Truthfully I just wanted to write “please go to myspace and buy this” because its really that good, do yourself a favor you deserve good music in your life.

Rating: A Breakfast Pizza, because lets face it they are delish but when was the last time you had one?

Sounds like: Awesome


Thomas Bonvalet

Thomas Bonvalet

Say that you like math-rock but some is just too video gamey and on the other end its just too cutesy and not as technical, enter Cheval De Frise.  A french duo of acoustic guitar and drums that play some seriously excellent music.  The closest as far as bands go would be the obvious choice of Hella, and at times i would agree but its really a lazy comparison just because they have two members and change time signatures throughout a song.

Thomas Bonvalet’s guitar style is extremely varied in its attack.  Moving from gentle sporadic plucks to hyper composed math style riffing.  The overall melodies that he seems to favor are more spanish guitar type in comparison to the more obvious metal or indie style math rock that is more widely used.  This gives the music more of a relaxed feeling even through the faster sections. If i had to sum them up in a few words id say “crazed gypsy band that discovered hard bop” and even that falls short.

Vincent Beysselance can seemingly play anything anyone has ever imagined on drums.  This is (probably) untrue but listening to him play is really something that goes beyond impressive.  Sometimes he plays with the guitar and sometimes its as though he’s playing his own thing but it never sounds forced or bad.  His playing style is incredibly natural and flows just as well as thomas’ guitar.  If ever two people were meant to play together its these two.  Although they have sadly broken up it means nothing as they’ve left several releases of excellent material.

This is sporadic type music though with little in the way of structure so by no means go in thinking that its going to follow any sort of patterns. These guys take preexisting ideas and extend them for their own means, which is what i look for in my music.  Not a sense of breaking new ground because I cant even recall the last band to do that as it is certainly a rarity.

Both members seem to thrill in throwing musical curve balls in at every turn playing wrong notes on purpose or just dropping the beat entirely.  This is the kind of stuff missing from today’s musical climate.  Sometimes its more in what you dont say musically than what you do.  Honestly though isn’t surprise the thrill of art?  I tend to believe so and if i can get my art with some sick riffs and fills then even better .

zach hill bleeding all up on his snare piece

zach hill bleeding all up on his snare piece


The ridiculously talented Zach Hill (of Hella fame) has been a busy man with a trash load of new projects.  All of which beg to answer the question, do we really need this much Zach Hill (short answer “yes please”)  As is the case sometimes with spreading yourself thin it has yet to be seen if the four albums he has coming out this year will be quality performances but he has never been one to disappoint.

CHLL PLL – includes members of Danava and Prints.  Not sure what to expect from this as i haven’t listened to either band or posted mp3 on their myspace.


El Grupo Nuevo de Omar Rodriguez-Lopez – Group that is the core of Mars Volta and also part of Hella. Ive listened to the album and its just not compelling enough for me to comment in depth without more listens.  Although typical of the Volta boys, it sounds like Zach and Hella bass man Jonathan Hischke are holding down the fort for Lopez’ solo fest and Cedric Bixler’s crazy high pitched rants.


Diamond Watch Wrists – The second release from Prefuse 73 and Zach Hill.  A very interesting mix of odd pop and drums.  While not a complete drum fest as many would assume it is a very pretty album that is really starting to grow on me. review to come.


Bygones – Last and certainly not least this is Nick from Tera Melos and…yepp you know who.  This seems to be the most promising and organic of the four as both parent bands have similar sounds.  The two tracks ive heard are really special and its clear that these two fit well as players. This is going to be a rifftastic album. 


In closing you should certainly check out Hella if you haven’t already. its mandatory listening for fans of math rock or fun or life.