Review of Poly-Math album – Melencolia
When any standard rock music journalist is asked to review a math rock band, there usually follows a bit of an eye roll and a heavy sigh before the files are downloaded and the play button is reservedly clicked, and the ears prepared for ten long minutes of repetitive drum loops and a whole lot of guitar wanking.
However, when I first pressed play on Brighton grown math rock band Poly-Math’s mini album ‘Melencolia’, I’m happy to report I was pleasantly surprised and intensely refreshed.
Firstly, for those of you who don’t know what math-rock is (as I didn’t up until a year or so ago), let’s educate ourselves with everyone’s essay bestie Wikipedia… “Math rock is a rhythmically complex, often guitar-based, style of experimental rock and indie rock…It is characterized by complex, atypical rhythmic structures (including irregular stopping and starting), counterpoint, odd time signatures, angular melodies, and extended, often dissonant, chords.” If you’re still with us, you probably have no idea what this means as math rock is notoriously hard to explain and the term often incorrectly used. Just YouTube it…
Back to Poly-Math. With over 2k likes on Facebook and an impressive backing from a number of great UK music publications, often hailing the experimental three piece as ‘a band to keep your eye on’, it’s obvious they’ve been gaining support for all the right reasons.
‘Melencolia’ is the band’s debut mini album, and it’s the first time they’ve really been able to show off all of their technical abilities. The first track ‘Melencolia I’ begins in a quiet, trippy sort of Bob Dylan manner before unfolding in to much bolder sounds. As the track progresses and builds the riffs getter bigger and more intricate, moving in to quite surreal realms with the rest of the melody. I can’t help but feel like this first track would be an epic piece to use for sci-fi, something I could definitely see the likes of Jeff Wayne using in one of his eerie creations. Following on from that is the track ‘Ekerot’, which starts in a punchier, all in, fashion. This track is more of a slow rolling, drum focused piece with a much more contemporary feel than the previous song. Next up is ‘Temptation of the Idler’, a track which builds up lots of intricate layers of melody from the first few seconds. It quickly zigzags from one sound to another, thought keeps a heavy, quick footed tempo throughout.
It flows well from piece to piece and, along with the other two tracks, is a true testament to the technical brilliance that has gone in to this mini album.
For a genre that can often be unknown and underappreciated, Melencolia is an astounding start to what could be a very promising career for these progressive experimenters from Brighton.
The mini album Melencolia will be released 8th April via Superstar Destroyer Records.
You can keep up to date with Poly-Math via their Facebook page:
Review by Hev Bailey