guitarist drummer death lock stare

guitarist drummer death lock stare

     First and foremost I need apologize quickly for my lack of updating as I have had pressing home matters to deal with as of late.  Anywho back to the music.  This excellent group out of Purchase, New York has certainly been turning some heads lately.  A three piece with ex Ra Ra Riot drummer Cameron Wisch its fairly simple to peal back the influences going on here but to their credit they certainly are an intense musical force in their own respect.

     Harkening back to the heyday of 90’s heavy math rock there is more than enough of the old school Pittsburgh soul that helped power bands such as Hurl and Don Caballero to go around here.  It should be said as well that spicing up each of their songs are hardcore influenced speak shout vocals from all the members. Never intrusive to the pieces but honestly the true magic here is the instruments, and boy is this some busy music for a trio.

Its hard to find math-rock especially in america these days that is as tight as its over sea’s counter parts and a little mess is ok but Zona certainly keeps things crisp between guitar and bass.  As a drummer though and while perhaps unfair to say its excellent to see Cameron Wisch really doing some interesting things on the kit.  Using highly syncopated licks and knowing when to reign it in or let loose is very much the style going on here. Often times though i find myself paying more attention to the little things he does like stick clicks where a milisecond pause may occur or taking a fairly straight forward beat and speeding it up to the point where you’d have a hard time knowing what you just saw.

These boys are currently on tour right now with the also fabulous Monster Machismo (whom i will be covering tomorrow) tour schedule obviously located on their myspace.  I plan on attending their show in Ithaca NY July 30th at the always lovely Pirate House, so if anyone is in the area I can promise a show to be remembered.  Check the link and the video below.

Zona Mexicana

 

helicopter cam

helicopter cam

When “1000 Year Plan” is being described to you by someone it’s easy to file it under an easy dismissal.  After all how many bands out there today travel in the same twisting math structures with a hard rock style? Lets just say the 90’s are reasserting themselves in a big way these last couple years with a flood of time signature consciousness groups.  Having said this I can say with all certainty that this group is something special and I felt a fool for having those above stated thoughts.

Seconds into the first song on “In Theory and Practice” it is blindingly obvious that these 3 gents really know what there doing.  Bassist Tom Yagielski seems to split half the time dualing off of guitarist Joe Kepic like a second lead and the other half holding down the fort with the equally spastic drumming of Brendan Kuntz.  Its nice to see a bass player actually stepping it up and presenting some interesting interplay especially with music this complex.  Not to down play the often strangely melodic passages of Kepic who seems to delight in harder post-hardcore style riffs and almost classic rock with an attitude sounding lines.  Though not ones to be pinned for too long, songs will bend into slower areas when the feeling calls and is really a nice break.  The two guitars it should be noted as well really do a great job of running together and apart.  In their favor this telepathic interplay keeps the album sounding fresh and lively.

Structure wise they manage to succeed in one of the hardest things of this style of music, transitions.  Yes they do flit from one idea to another but not at the detriment to the piece.  Thankfully these guys know when to stay on a great riff or conversely to play it once and move on, something that a lot of bands could learn from.  But really please stop reading this right now, go out and purchase this record as its pretty much an order at this point.

Rating: chicken nuggets. now im not talking fast food style im talking some gourmet nuggets here.  Of course with your choice of dipping sauces if you feel so inclined

http://www.myspace.com/1000yearplan

Band Overview: PIGLET

May 7, 2009

i dont remember this part of space mountain

i dont remember this part of space mountain

 

Piglet are a math rock band by way of Chicago.  While there output is slim (one release Lava Land ep) and have since disbanded, it is hard to ignore a band that was this good.  With two members of Seyarse in the line up youd swear on your dusty vinyl that there had two be another guitarists going at it on these tracks or even another drummer but youd be very wrong as its just three members.

Surprisingly no looping is used either and with several listens its easy to see why. Structurally their songs are too complex to add any sort of extended groove.  As a point of reference it could be likend to many of their influences (Don Cab, Volta Do Mar ect).  I’d say more realistically though that its like if someone sped up American Football and dropped the whiney vocals.  We could sit here all day and argue if something so indebted to others is even relavent musically, but  give this one listen and those pretentious thoughts will melt away as fast as you can say “holy polyrhythm’s”.   

Lava Land their only release would be impressive enough for a band that had been playing for many years, but its hard to imagine cranking this out as a first ep.  What is nice about these songs are that while very technical there is a true appreciation in the guitar playing for memorable melodic lines.  Sometimes i find math rock to be forgetable once ive walked away from it but i find myself all the time humming these tunes to myself.  This is of course not to bring the focus away from the drumming which i think not only keeps up with the guitar but dare i say it is at times more interesting to follow. 

Even though this group has disbanded doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go out and make this a must purchase.  It is a rewarding listen and there are always new things to enjoy with each spin.  Just goes to show you that pretty rock need not pander to love sick men and impossibly slow tempo’s.

http://www.purevolume.com/piglet

ah the old sun pyramid cover

ah the old sun pyramid cover

 

Let’s get this out of the way first and formost, this is a great album. If you like guitars that play notes and drums that make noise then your in luck, this is your album!  Now that I’ve told you this we can all go home and order this album…oh..hold on…ok…right, you want me to tell you what it sounds like? why its good? ok ok

This group from Oslo, Norway plays Dun Dun Dunnnnn post rock. BUT SHAUN YOU JUST TORE APART SAXON SHORE’S LATEST ALBUM AND THATS POST ROCK! Reeelax, where as theres was a sleepwalk fest through dad and mom’s card party, Samuel Jackson gives us a template that many similiar bands should follow in the 2000’s.  This is a fun album and certainly not your sad sack post rock that makes you think of sleigh rides in the winter(though theres nothing wrong with that either).  The reason why it works so well is that the build ups are actually interesting and add to the song.  Where as most is a waiting game to see how awesome the guitar pummeling will be in the last 30 seconds I never found myself to be watching the track time. 

The fact is interesting things are happening constantly in their music and theres always some new intrument popping its head into the groove.  Flute, cello, violin, horns  all make lasting impressions throughout while not sounding like gimmicks.  The two guitarists especially pay close attention to melody, making each guitar line as joyful as the next such as on “So many Cowboys, so few Indians” where the bass gives both guitars room to wiggle around each other.  Drums largely keep to grounding the proceedings but closer attention reveals that they are not as conventional as once thought.  As i sat down to air drum some of the parts i realized that there are time changes hiding throughout and some pretty interesting fills. 

While not everything here is completely perfect like most things and this is but a small gripe in an otherwise splendid performance.  Lets face it, the title track goes nowhere and heads off into nothing.  It does kind of make sense in context to the other songs but its one i tend to skip over.  Otherwise go out and get this album as soon as possible.

 

RATING: A DELICIOUS CHICKEN DINNER WITH MASHED POTATOES AND GRAVY (OR MEAL OF EQUAL AWESOMENESS)

SOUNDS LIKE: POST ROCK, YOU KNOW THE DRILL.

www.myspace.com/thesamueljacksonfive