Live Music Scene
ŌTrumans Water / Birdbath Split 7ÓÕ is the catchy title of this split EP from (as you may have guessed) Birdbath of Bristol and Trumans Water of Portland, Oregon. How these two bands have ended up sharing an EP is something of a mystery but, hell IÕll role with it. Neither of the bands have much in the way of promotion materials. Presumably because anonymity is a virtue in the math-rock circles both bands occupy.
Birdbath contribute the first two tunes: 'Tomorrow We Will Run Faster' and 'DonÕt Talk With Your Mouth Open'. Both songs are instrumental and hit all the math-rock clichˇs you know and love riffs repeat endlessly, while time signatures wander all over the shop. I'm sure if you're the kind of beardy odd ball who lives and breathes for this stuff IÕm sure you will love these two tracks, but to the uninitiated they're just tedious. I've not written about each song individually because really there is very little to differentiate them.
Trumans Water take songs three and four on the EP the ludicrously titled 'Tetragrammation' and 'Silvaticus'. Unlike Birdbath, Trumans Water have bothered with vocals, albeit mumbled, incoherent ones just on the edge of hearing. Trumans Water have much more than a punk rock aesthetic than Birdbath, and each of their songs have much more of a loose feel. 'Tetragrammation' is probably the best tune on the EP but that is a low target to hit. Even though it's not quite three minutes, you've heard everything it has to offer after thirty seconds.
If you are a math-rock connoisseur, and the thought of a song repeating itself for four minutes with only the occasional blast of white noise to break the tedium, then you should be buying this EP If not, and you prefer your music with such things as tunes and hooks, then maybe give this one a miss.
4 songs of mathy post-harcore here. Or at least, what I consider to be mathy. I think you have to be super technical and complicated to be math(s?) these days. Birdbath rock back and forth on their heels in search of an unrelenting groove, and they do a pretty good job of finding it. They lock things down and keep an intent focus, I am appreciating what they are doing. It reminds me of the sort of thing youÕd have found on Gringo Records 15 years ago. Bonus points for the family home recording (I assume?) of swearing Grandma on ŅTomorrow We Will Run FasterÓ.
Trumans Water have been around the block but this is the first I have heard from them. This is pretty interesting stuff, a little disjointed and perhaps located near to Unwound on the musical spectrum. ŅTetrgrammationÓ is mostly melodic but interspersed with bursts of peculiarity. ItÕs interesting but a little lacking, itÕs fair enough if a band wants to dispense with obvious structure and experiment but sometimes theyÕd benefit from retaining it. This is one of those times. ŅSilvatacusÓ is more under-stated, with a spoken word part buried beneath the guitars, giving it a definite Slint-like feel. I preferred this track.
In a similar manner that records by virtuoso turntablist will never quite replicate the visceral experience of a club set, home listening of one-man Worcester post-rock machine Theo’s output will likely always play second fiddle to his impressive live set up. Nevertheless, ‘Encouragement’, a soundtrack to two short films, bristles with looped magic that has led to Theo’s name being whispered in cult reverence among the instrumental guitar music fraternity. Opener ‘Invested In Defence’ sends tingles up spines, building layer upon layer with the dynamics of Battles, until the results swirl around your head; only the vaguely punch-less drums are less than mesmerising. ‘Fortress’ meanders more, and though ‘Gallant’ never quite delivers on its anticipation construction, as it disappears into the ether, one pressing question remains: with music this emotive, why doesn’t every other film - from shorts to blockbusters - employ a post-rock score?