Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Math and Physics Club "Long Drag" (Matinée Recordings)
Crumpled pages and scrawled notes from the archive drip inky snippets of past prose that we've been inspired to pen by Seattle's wonderful Math & Physics Club, much of which made it into this fanzine: so, spinning back in time we find "the not inconsiderable potential" of the "Weekends Away" EP, which was fulfilled (and then some) by "Movie Ending Romance", all
"sprightly, poppy passages and wonderful, sadder, reveries"
ooh, and I see we got in some digs at the Beach Boys (we were braver then...)
and up next of the EPs, it was "Baby I'm Yours", pithily:
"math and physics are BACK and they haven't lost it either"
and then there was the first, self-titled album some seven years back, one of "rare consistency", with special props to "sumptuous opener" "Darling, Please Come Home", and the "pure pop" (what else?) of "April Showers", but of course the passing years unveiled a second LP too, "I Shouldn't Look As Good As I Do", which inevitably unfurled itself, in its "strollingly charming" manner and with "newfound studio confidence", as
"refining even further their modestly understated masterclass in the genteel art of compact songwriting..."
"well-honed and ripplingly toned..."
with special shout-outs to
"the light-as-featherdown sweetness of "We Make A Pair", the bristling, bustling jangle of "Love Or Loneliness", the debonair, boy-laid-bare "I'll Tell You Anything", the heavenly sturm-und-twang of the marvellous "Trying To Say I Love You""
and of course that album in turn yielded - on 7" single, which greatly enthused us, as you'll remember - "Jimmy Had A Polaroid":
"indie-pop righteousness... delectably jangling guitar elides with skidding, bouncing rhythms which both then collide head-on with slipsliding, lump-in-throat lyrical nostalgia".
In 2013 we''re too lazy to write much any more, too old and too cold as Darkthrone would have it, and sorely tempted just to repeat what we said before, indeed could say *every* time M&PC deign to extend their leisurely release schedule, namely
"math and physics are BACK and they haven't lost it either"
but we had to add, wanted to add, that even given M&PC's past brilliance, "Long Drag" doesn't disappoint: it's *so* piquant, so - this word again - compact, with not a single crotchet wasted, that it ensnares you completely. (The package oozes real cool too, what with being recorded at Dub Narcotic, and elegantly dressed by Tae Won Yu). Very different from the vibrant bass-grounded pound of their last 45, "Long Drag" begins instead with shuffling handclaps and rhythmic pulses, as a kind of bubblegum Violent Femmes, but soon opens up to reveal its true majesty and perfect pop lineage. And the themes are universal: it's a song about devotion, and it's a song (just like last night's crush, "Short Stories For Long Nights"!) about being saved by a song. Frankly, it's a song we'd cross oceans to savour.
Look. M&PC would be fully entitled by now to get away with the odd duff record, if they wanted to - it would take more than that to dissuade us from our decision, many years back, to pledge our troth to them approx. forever and a day - but "Long Drag", happily, is far from that, being yet another expectation-raiser, yet another proof of the fulfilment of that early-days promise, yet another ode to the patient and gently nourishing approach that Matinée take to their artists. Both band and label remain the gift that keeps giving.
Plus, lest we forget:
"math and physics are BACK and they haven't lost it either".

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