Monday 30 September 2013

Maths and the Moon - Night Train Daydream

Album review by

If you're a bit sad and stuff like this interests you, then if you explore the mathematics behind the moon and its actions then the sums don't really add up properly. Maybe David Icke and others are correct and it is a hollow planetoid or even a cleverly disguised alien base (as suggested by secret NASA tapes). You're probably not that sad though, so shall we have a chat about the music? Maths and the Moon are a trio from The New Forest and the describe themselves as psychedelic, and as we know that can mean just about anything. So by way of a brief guide, they're not much like Tame Impala, Temples and all the other bands who the press are currently creaming themselves over. They offer something different, and what they offer is very good, in many cases a match for the bigger names. As always the ultimate judge will be your taste, but there's a little something on 'Night Train Daydream' for everyone.

'FFwD (Fly From Danger)' is little more than an interesting intro, but then they slam straight into the chugging, punky psych-pop urgency that makes up 'On A Knife Edge'. It's a cracker with some great lyrics which we would quote here, but narrowing it down to a line or two is impossible; just listen. This frantic, spoken-word style is at odds with many people's idea of what this genre should constitute, but not at odds with the actual genre. 'Hekyll And Hyde' (sic) is along similar lines and no amount of brain-racking will bring forth a direct comparison. This strange psych-punk (strange in style that is, it doesn't sound like a radical new form of music) sits down for a rest on 'It's OK to be Afraid', a song that you may consider to be more in keeping with the work of other bands, but it's still in a world of its own, not quite being able to grasp the dimension in which indie/guitar-type bands exist, and this is a major plus point for Maths and the Moon as it gives them true identity. Oh, and this song is a diverse, traversing epic by the way.

You could call 'Recurring Dream Number 13' an interlude; it's an instrumental piece of interstellar sound that has the effect of wiping the slate clean so we're ready for the galloping change of style we find on 'Old Days/New Daze', a song that flits between ambient, psych and alt-rock. These guys aren't exactly low on ideas, and good ones at that. 'WWYB (The Demons March)' could be beamed down from an alien spacecraft trying to make contact via music. It's a shame they're telling us they want our blood though. Bringing us down to earth is the much more human 'Anxious Cats' which deals with the usual insecurities of the human condition, perhaps they could ask those aliens for some help rectifying the problems. Like many of the tracks on 'Night Train Daydream' this one meanders and shuns regular structure in favour of a more organic journey through sound. The insane 'Monochrome' is another that does the same, whereas instrumental 'Lolocomo' is sample-based and sounds like a radio being tuned. It's a stark contrast when they follow it with the album's most commercial track, the indie-punk number 'Light at the 11th Hour'. Playing us out is the analogue-sounding electro-indie-krautrock track 'Polychrome', a song that takes a very good album out on a high. Long may Maths and the Moon continue to not quite fit in.

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Maths and the Moon's website

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