The Advantage
Elf Titled


3.5
great

Review

by Devon Longerbeam USER (11 Reviews)
June 19th, 2008 | 15 replies


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A blast from the past.

Let me first say this; Math Rock semi-exists somewhere in this universe, and specifically in this case, California

By now you've probably calmed down and decided not to hunt me down over the fact that I mentioned the genre of Math Rock, you can notice that I stated that it only "semi-exists". This might seem like an odd thing to say, but honestly Math Rock can exist only as much Nintendo-Core can; it definitely stands on it's own a little more, but it's more of a combinations of genres, opposed to a sub-genre. Well you might be saying to yourself "That's the same thing!" or possibly "Where did your get your degree in Math Rock?!", or more importantly "What does this have to do with The Advantage?". Well, The Advantage are a band that partially fits the description, and the rest, well I'll explain.

Now expectations you might have may be 5-7 minute songs of scattered rhythm changes and asymmetrical time signatures, but really, not so much. These four fellows cover old gaming system tunes.

It's not really all that unorthodox in terms of quality considering that the music on the old gaming systems such as Super Nintendo or NES are pretty catchy, and at times technical. These guys aren't Ben Weinman (who, according to wikipedia, is in a "Mathcore" band, but we all know better than to go there) but they surely don't disappoint. Each song is a rendition of your favorite old-school game's best songs and includes two guitarists, playing off each other extremely well if I might add, a bassist that can get pretty nuts at times, and a nice, super-sized, side order of a percussionist (in this case a drummer) that is pretty slick when it comes the kit. If you want to get a good idea of an overall sound think Battles with a little less focus on weirding you out and dance grooves, and more focus on Castelvania. Songs like "Double Dragon III: Egypt" and "Batman - Stage 1" make you feel like your twelve again playing your console of choice. On the other hand, while you can't avoid the fact that these are all from some children's game, songs like "Ducktails - Moon" and "Goonie 2 - Wiseman" are something even your grandma can find cute and uplifting, and everyone knows how right grandma is!

"Bomberman 2 - Wiggy", a highpoint of the album, is a song actually negating the comparison with Battles; it starts of with a nice groove with the guitarists showing some of the best work on the whole album. The song is less than two minutes, but shows massive potential and some real nice grooves and leads that stay true to the genre. "Double Dragon II: Mission 5" is another contender with it's nice blend of guitar and bass leads accompanied by some real simple, but fitting drum work. "Castlevania III: Boss Music" and "Castlevania II: Woods" actually sound like "The Fall Of Troy does Math Rock" with their pull-offs and experimental sections. The final song on the album "Wizards and Warriors" is the longest track on the album with some more of that TFOT sound in the beginning before transitioning to a funky section with the whole band just jamming. After the jam-fest the band slows it down with a few different leads and chants that eventually lead the band ending the song with the guitar and vocals utilizing the same melody.

The biggest gripe that could exist with this whole album would probably be that this could seem pointless due to the fact that if you really wanted to hear the songs you could go to your room, hook your old system back up, and make the experience by listening to the song while visiting the past at the same time. On another note, is their really any way to tell if they have the true talent when it comes to music? (songwriting for the not the so quick). Obviously the songs are covers and these guys can play, but what can lead you to believe that they can craft a song like their peers?

In the end this a fun release from some dudes that love their childhoods enough to form a band and cover some of their favorite songs from their NES/Super Nintendo games. All of the albums tracks are fun with the second half of the album owning more standout tracks that seem to fit the Math Rock mold almost perfectly. The songs are all translated quite well and there is almost no way of telling a difference, for better or worse. The live aspect gives the songs a new form; making them enjoyable outside of the actual gaming experience. When speaking of Math Rock, The Advantage don't really have the advantage, but they surely know how to play and there is no doubt that they have potential.

If you a naysayer or you don't think this is your thing, well...you'll always have your Super Nintendo.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
SpinLightTwo
June 19th 2008


1043 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks goes to HighAndDriving for showing me the band.

SpinLightTwo
June 19th 2008


1043 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

not going to lie, a little surprised at the neg

foreverendeared
June 19th 2008


14678 Comments


doesn't deserve a neg. as far as i'm concerned you can label a band whatever genre you want as long as it's not too far off the mark (e.g. calling a pop/punk band metal)
the neg might be a result of you focusing more on explaining why you call this math rock more than you do actually describing the album and the music it encompasses

astrel
June 19th 2008


2614 Comments


I am quite surprised that this is the first Advantage review on sputnik.

Digging: Jessie Ware - Tough Love

SpinLightTwo
June 19th 2008


1043 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I don't think i focused too much on Math Rock, but it was mentioned a good bit, so you could be right there.

to astrel: me too

foreverendeared
June 19th 2008


14678 Comments


well you didn't talk about it "more than" like i said, but a large chunk of the focus goes towards it. i would trim that down a little. and i would probably say "a user here on sputnik" instead of "highanddriving." it just looks a little more professional that way

SpinLightTwo
June 19th 2008


1043 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

alright man

foreverendeared
June 19th 2008


14678 Comments


oh and good review. i almost forgot to vote

SpinLightTwo
June 19th 2008


1043 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

thank ya man

HighandDriving
June 20th 2008


3288 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Awesome review, glad you enjoy the band.

Check out The Minibosses, their very similar to The Advantage but not as good IMO.

Also I'd note that the Drummer is Hella's guitarist, Spencer Seim.

I don't agree completely with your labeling of math rock but that is to be expected, as it's a tough genre to label. But I do agree completely with you in regards to how The Advantages fits in the math rock realm.

Have you checked out their "Self-Titled", it's just as good.
Well Sputnik needs more math rock reviews, so keep it up.
This Message Edited On 06.20.08

SpinLightTwo
June 20th 2008


1043 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah man, I'm planning on doing something for LITE soon, because I've been digging them a good bit.

And for their actual self-titled album, I was looking but couldn't get it.

HighandDriving
June 20th 2008


3288 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

LITE's new album just maybe the tightest math rock album I've ever heard.

Do some more google blog searches and if not I have the blog that I got their self-titled on my favourites at home.

So if need be I can link you later on if you have msn or something.

SpinLightTwo
June 20th 2008


1043 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah I've heard it one time through, then I got the Advantage, so that's why I haven't heard it any more.

i'll see what I can do.

handoman
October 13th 2008


2386 Comments


This is a cool album. I first heard it when my friend gave me the a copy of the CD. My bother and I put it on in the car and we tried to guys what games the songs were from. Sucks this one doesn't have Zelda, though, their other cd does.

Calc
March 15th 2014


12249 Comments


2014 bump woot!

Digging: Milo - A Toothpaste Suburb



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