March 20, 2013 by Daniel
It’s been a bit of an odd week for music-listening. Final assignments for all my classes have started, and I’ve just been recruited to play drums for The Neighbourhood Watch at their CD release show in May; we’ve started practicing now, so a lot of my listening has been their old material in the interest of doing my job properly.
That being said, last week my band Formalists started an album-sharing Dropbox folder with each other, and that’s been exposing me to some interesting stuff already. What’s grabbed me the most so far is Don Caballero’s fifth record American Don.
Full disclosure: I have not listened to this record all the way through. However, I think I have a good enough feel for it to recommend to you all. They’re a math rock group, and frankly that alone should tell you if you’ll like them or not, since the genre is one with a pretty specific sound other than a few exceptions. One of the guitarists went on to be in Battles, which makes a hell of a lot of sense, what with all the droning, pretty, but kind of messed up tapping going on here. The whole thing reminds me overwhelmingly of Tera Melos’s Patagonian Rats, in that it’s got that math-y sound but chooses a slightly more controlled, repetitive approach over the cacophony that the genre is known for. It’s actually kind of “chill” in its own weird way.
There’s a nice sense of space on the record, the songs building slowly and the drums given a lot of room to breathe on top of the hypnotic melodies. And the record is energetic without being particularly aggressive, which makes it fairly accessible despite some of the songs being pretty long. In short – if you like math rock, you’ll probably like this, and if you don’t…I guess you won’t? Have you heard Patagonian Rats? It’s pretty fantastic. You should check that record out and then get to this one afterwards if you like it; it’d be a good “second step” for the less well-versed, I think.