Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Art Contest - Math Major

    Lo-Fi production may not be enough to make a Math Rock album seems completely different or unique, but it's a start. Indeed, sometimes a different way of listening to music is just enough to jar us away from passively sitting and receiving. It can help grip us, to gain our attention.
     On their album, Math Major, Art Contest do just that, by means of Lo-Fi production and more. While musically, you wouldn't be wrong in categorizing this as fairly textbook Math Rock and Emo, the band throws a couple of curve balls to keep themselves from being pigeonholed too neatly. The band's aforementioned production gives you a quality of listening you'd expect from a twee pop or indie surf band, thus, lending it a fairly unique feel.
     The band also makes a point to deviate from the constantly energetic and frenetic rhythms that define so many Math Rock songs. Tracks like "Jungle Book" slow things down considerably, giving the song more than sufficient room to breathe, while "WAV," though not entirely simple, contains many straight-forward strumming patterns which benefit the song immensely. Certainly, in my point of view, this is the band's strongest point. They don't feel the need to strap themselves to everything that comes with a Math Rock label. If frenzied, chaotic riffing doesn't happen to work in a particular context or song, they won't do it. If it does work, however, you can bet your savings that they'll do it, and do it well. With Art Contest, music is about doing whatever makes the song better, not about making themselves sound more like a certain style or genre. Unique? Maybe not. Refreshing? Absolutely.

-Andrew Oliver

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