Review Summary: Taking the complexity of math rock, and lowering the shred to a listenable point for the masses. Something like what Bill Nye did for science!3 of 3 thought this review was well written
Alternative Press has never really done much good for me. I subscribed to it for the sole fact it had some mentions of obscure bands I enjoy. But apart from that, it’s constantly plastered with some favorites and pop-punk-flavor-of-the month’s. But in the mess of full color All Time Low prints and ads for clothing companies so “indie” they probably don’t even exist yet, I found this gem of a band.
is a fun math rock group from Tallahassee, Florida. In the past, they have released EP’s, and with their first full length, they really needed something to branch out into a bigger audience. Naturally, if that were the situation, you would produce something memorable that would catch the listener’s attention and pull them in straight away. From the first few seconds of the beginning track, they have accomplished just that. Starting off with the pleasant voice of the singer backed by a funky sounding guitar, and slowly branching off into the eclectic multi-guitar adventures of math rock gives you the formula right off the bat. In my case, and I’m assuming the case of thousands of others, the problem with soft songs is the lack of interest they generate. Going from Protest the Hero to Modest Mouse isn’t necessarily an easy challenge, but Look Mexico bridges the road less travelled by making the songs fulfilling in a fun and energetic way, while keeping the mathy flair expected within the genre.
The vocalist / guitarist sticks to standard chords and sings with a calming but defined voice as a second guitarist fluctuates in between with complex riffs or boggling tapped licks. The bassist mainly keeps a low profile, until the defining passages of math rock where he mingles in and out of guitar riffs to create a bubbling and fluctuating musical passage. The drummer uses creative, roomy patterns that have the technical flair and the common sense to remain intelligent and entertaining. In other words, the band is like Bill Nye. Clearly brilliant, but stifling it down enough to be swallowed by the masses. Except they don’t have a theme song.
The songs themselves have extremely varied feels. From the folk-rock of “You Ever Get Punched In The Face For Talking Too Much?” to the confusing fun of “Half That Money Is Mine, And I Want It”, it’s entertaining as reading through Harry Potter changing the word “wand” to “wang”. A few of the songs are instrumental, despite the “vocals” of a radio conversation concerning the enigma of “life numbers”, which turned out surprisingly pleasant instead of little “I’m so indie” filler tracks a lot of listeners have come to anticipate. Although the songs are suffering from a Fall Out Boy-esque system of titles, they suffer from the same lack of literary nuance in a lyrical way. The lyrics, although unimaginative and repetitive, are delivered excellently, so the album quickly recovers from the flaw.
This is Animal Music
manages to create the recipe few have; utilizing the listenability of acoustics and catchy vocals, but spicing it with the complexity of math rock to create a album suitable for both casual tunes and fine toothed comb listens. Mathy and fun. If only real math were that way.