As time marches on and on, my rate of music discovery seems to shrink and shrink. This page is my attempt at combatting this unfortunate behavioural lapse: a drip feed of super-casual micro-reviews on what I've been listening to each week. By forcing myself to do this, I hope to fuel my ongoing exploration for new music. I don't know if I have good music taste. I obviously think I do, but don't most people? But if you wanted to follow along with my Record of the Week, here is the Atom/RSS feed.
I also highly encourage others to add a microfeed like this to their blogs (so I can follow yours for my own discovery!). Hit me up on mastodon and I'll check out your recommendations.
Breakthroughs in Modern Art by Six Gallery
2010 math rock
The debut LP of band Six Gallery, Breakthroughs in Modern Art is an incredibly creative blend of tappy mathy guitar - and not the overdone kind - and heavier almost emo guitar and vocals that came out of everyone in the 00s. Bermuda Triangles and A Live Nativity Scene solidly show their unique sound and are definitely must listens. The band are particularly skilled in their incorporation of different dynamics and intensities, often slowly building songs up to an epic climax that must have been incredible to see live. The smooth guitar that starts off Built to Last (Side by Side) is beautifully crafted and leads to an intense ending that gives me chills.
They seem like super cool guys, and there has been talk in the last couple years of another possible release of some kind, so Six Gallery are definitely worth keeping an eye on.
Favourite track: Built to Last (Side by Side)
Check it out: bandcamp
What Gives by Gulfer
2015 math rock
What Gives is one of those rare emo albums that incorporates elements of both 90s and 00s emo sounds, and it does it well. In particular the vocals are reminiscent of Algernon Cadwallader, and the slow, calming trumpet conjures up the same nostalgic atmosphere of American Football. A strong math rock influence is seen in the guitar tone similar to TTNG's in Animals and the complex, often repetitive and hypnotic rhythms that are reminiscent of Rooftops' A Forest of Polarity (particularly in Getting Hit By Parked Cars).
Nods to other artists aside, Gulfer create something fun and original that ends too soon. The anthemic final track on the record, Almost Sterling, explosively shows their creativity by taking you from intricate, quiet guitar melody to powerful, emotic vocals. Bands like Gulfer are few and far between.
Favourite track: Almost Sterling
Planets Live In Houses by Planets Live In Houses
2014 instrumental/post rock
I recently discovered this gem of an instrumental album and it blew me away from the first track, Wolf Computer. Wolf Computer is an incredibly catchy track with strong elements of math rock, funky melodies out of nowhere, and a great mix of sounds. The album as a whole is creative with its use of different effects and instruments, intertwining eerie, gentler periods with hard-hitting and intricate drops.
Favourite track: Wolf Computer
Check it out: bandcamp
You're Living All Over Me by Dinosaur Jr.
This week I've been revisiting this 1987 classic by Dinosaur Jr., which has a surprising number of great and memorable songs, making it very difficult identifying one as the best. The dominating bass, fuzzy, droning guitar and iconic vocals make it obvious from the first track how these guys had such an influence on early 90s rock bands.
The album starts strong with Little Fury Things, a catchy track that is accessible even for people who usually aren't into heavy stuff. Raisans keeps up the pace with hypnotic vocals and almost atonal guitar licks from lead J Mascis. As we progress it gets a bit more weird and fuzzy, remaining fun and interesting with pretty zero filler.
Favourite track: In a Jar
Check it out: dinosaurjr.com
Underwater by Elephant Gym
My first ROTW, which I liked so much as to actually make something on this website to share my enjoyment of music with others, is the second full-length album by Taiwanese trio Elephant Gym.
These guys have been known for super catchy bass-driven math-rock-y tunes, and this record extends this sound into a more funky yet dark and atmospheric experience. Though they've focussed more on instrumentals in the past, this album introduces some collaborations with vocalists, adding a new dimension to their work that I hope they continue to explore. It feels like Elephant Gym are only getting started.
Favourite track: Bad Dream (feat. Sowut)