Album Review: Math the Band – Don’t Worry

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Clocking in at just under a half hour, Math the Band’s newest album, Don’t Worry, is a splashy ball of intensity splattered on a background of happy, chintzy, chip tune blips.

Math the Band started as a one-man band led by Kevin Steinhauser. After some young stints in a few different pop-punk bands in his native New England, he took an interest in video games and ska music, which explains a lot. After recruiting a few other band members, including his girlfriend on analog synthesizer, he’s come out with a spunky take on the new Indie rock obsession with computer-related sounds.

Don’t Worry is an innovative record; the mix of hardcore and punk influence with happy-sounding Castles in the Sky-ish synthesizers and tiny, skittering snares stops you in your tracks. It’s a punk party that wants to fit in with the electronica crowd. It’s a bit of a square peg forcing itself into a round hole. Still having a hard time understanding? Try a Blink 182-influenced Postal Service; happy little melodies juxtaposed with screaming, out of breath vocals. (I know that once upon a time Steinhauser wrote about how much “Postal Service sucks”, but unfortunately, they’ve grandfathered you in, buddy. Get used to it.)

A splendid devil-may-care attitude comes through in MtB’s cavalier lyrics –- you know right from the first note that the record is going to be fast, loud, short, and forgettable. They compare themselves to Andrew WK, and the influence comes through clear as water in the Gulf of Mexico. At first you think, well then, this is a work-out album, a bang-your-head-’til-it-hurts-album — but then, the melody comes sneaking in and bobbing along, forcing you to actually remember the songs and not just thrash your body ’til you can’t feel pain anymore.

Even though Don’t Worry is definitely a fun record, it seems to me that Math the Band is so concerned with being hardcore and exciting that it takes away from the music. Granted, it’s a welcome change of pace from other bands standing behind their knobs, twisting and turning mysteriously. But for an album with this much screaming and schizophrenic sound, I’d like to hear the lyrics serve the music. It’s almost a pop album, but the sheer, insane tone of the vocals will never clear the radio filters, or make it from my iPod to my friend’s ears.

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Don’t Worry Album Review: Math the Band   Dont Worry