The Brave Little Abacus



by Trebor. STAFF
August 30th, 2017 | 7 replies

Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

The Most Underrated Band on The Planet: A Retrospective
Part 5 - Big bulging eyes like frogs in the hands of boyhood

At first glance Okumay is a disappointing way for the band to go out - it’s short, simple, bare, and it’s not a “revelation” like Just Got Back From The Discomfort. Okumay was an anticlimactic way for a band like The Brave Little Abacus to go out. It’s three new songs, one cover, and hardly groundbreaking, the songs are much simpler, bare, stripped back. But once I freed myself from lofty expectations and comparisons, I started to realize I might be approaching it wrong, and it hit me that three of the four songs (all but the cover) are among TBLA’s best songs. Okumay is not experimental in any way, it doesn’t advance the band’s sound. It doesn’t even attempt to live up to JGB, and that’s what makes it perfect.

Okumay is fun. It’s The Brave Little Abacus' least challenging, most pop oriented record. Keyboard is often a secondary instrument for TBLA, hanging out in the background, providing atmosphere and counterpoint, but on Okumay, Zack’s ‘boards carry the music. Upbeat keyboard riffs and Adam’s most polished vocal performance to date make Okumay an experiment in what The Brave Little Abacus would sound like if they were a “normal” band. They have the songwriting chops to pull off the stripped down sound; There are no samples (OK one, but it’s short), no weird stuff, no bullshit, just four fast and furious emo tracks. There’s really nothing new to be found, but that’s OK because Okumay is icing on the discography-cake.

Despite their limitless appeal, The Brave Little Abacus remains largely unknown. I hope with all my heart that starts to change. It took a decade after fellow emo greats American Football broke up for them to catch on, so there is hope. It’s disheartening knowing that a band with such potential broke up, that a band whose whole discography is strange and exciting has so few fans. I take solace that the average TBLA fan is a devoted fanatic, but our numbers are still alarmingly thin. The Brave Little Abacus is important to me, they’re important to the genre, and to music in general: And that’s it, two full lengths, an EP, a split, and a demo. A legacy cemented. Pound for pound TBLA is the best emo band that ever was. Perhaps Adam and company were too ambitious to succeed. Adam said it best with, “Ambitions always double the weight of the world.” Eclectic, fun, challenging, catchy, The Brave Little Abacus where everything an emo band should be, but they’re dead, dead and buried, gone forever, a blip on the radar, a cult project that likely will never generate money, but that’s OK. What we have is enough. In the morning I’ll be fine.

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Counterparts You're Not You AnymoreLil Uzi Vert Luv Is Rage 2
The Brave Little Abacus Just Got Back from the Discomfort - It's AlrightThe Brave Little Abacus Masked Dancers
Matt Aspinwall/The Brave Little Abacus SplitThe Brave Little Abacus Demo?
user ratings (41)

Comments:Add a Comment 
Staff Reviewer
August 30th 2017


Album Rating: 4.7

Meant to post this yesterday but the site took a shit

You know the drill, discog:

And that's it! This took me 6 months to write, I hope it's not garbage.

I'll be posting the whole thing as a blog post in a couple of days if you don't want to read it on five different pages.

Thanks for hanging with me, I hope at least a couple people checked out TBLA

Digging: Dad Thighs - The Ghosts That I Fear

August 30th 2017


Nice job man. I enjoyed all the reviews. Still need to listen to this. JGB is one of my all time favorites and I've listened to the demo and MD once each, but they desperately need a relisten.

Staff Reviewer
August 30th 2017


awesome work with these man, need to check them out asap

Digging: Amy Shark - Night Thinker

August 30th 2017


I liked all of the reviews, might have to check these out soon

Digging: Ghost Atlas - All Is In Sync, and There's Nothing Left to Sing

Staff Reviewer
August 30th 2017


Album Rating: 4.7

Thanks fellas

August 30th 2017


Fella is one of the most underrated words in the English language

August 30th 2017


hey so whats goin on with adam? is there any new me in capris comin out?

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