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LITERATURE

 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
Math the Band
Don't Worry
Slanty Shanty

Rating: 5.8/10 ?


November 9, 2009
The elecronic-infused experimental genre of late is best organized into two categories: you have your Dan Deacons of the world that fuse pop and skilled laptopping. Then you have your bands like Math the Band that are somewhat quirky and fun but almost non-music entities.  Of course, the latter sub-genre provokes a larger question about what makes something musical, a moot point better left to a music theory class. But there's something to say about this niche offshoot, with its basement-dance-party-ready tunes and sudden bursts of energy.  For their reliance upon pop culture cues and geeky nostalgia, there lacks relevance outside of the 2+ minutes of song play.
 
With a Casio and girlfriend Justine Mainville by his side, Math the Band's Kevin Steinhauser continues his original after-school project. Joined by a cast of technophiles, their latest, Don't Worry, is a flurry of analog synths and speedy beats that race so fast, it's disorienting. Full of videogame-y blurps and gang vocals, Math channels the soundtrack of an 80s-era birthday party: Nintendo muzak and a crew of yelping kids on a sugar high. Counting off "one, two, one, two, three, four!" (sounding much like those now two-decade old Kit Kat commercials), album opener "Hang out Hang Ten" talks skateboarding and decrees the Wang Chung-ian ideal that "everybody have fun tonight." As if the twenty-something slacker needed another anthem, "Introducing the magic eye" celebrates unemployment and living at home.

For an album that harps on the lighter side of things-every song ends with a massive Japanese-style gong-there's something, in its whirring, glitchy glory, that punches up a sense of anxiety beyond its synthesized beats. Read between the nonsensical lines to find Math's deep seeded issues with adulthood. The self-consciousness sets in on "Why didn't you get a haircut" as Steinhauser repeatedly declares, "Good enough isn't good enough." But like some 8-bit hero on a game's final level, he, with some lyrical help from REM's "It's the End of the World As We Know It," deems an apocalyptic scenario "so awesome." Don't Worry may not make it out of the basement but at least you got your cardio in for the day.

Reviewed by Lara Longo
Lara Longo is a writer and photographer from Brooklyn, NY. In 1989, Lara received her first CD player and album, Appetite for Destruction; ever since, music is something she has fawned over, hated on, and played loudly. Her work has also appeared in Relix and New York Cool. Lara’s interests include sharks, European television, and the Hammond B3 organ.

See other reviews by Lara Longo

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