Fugazi, Candy Machine, Shellac
#11 ALBUM OF 2015
If a goat chewing on a railing for an album cover isn’t enticing, we’re not sure what is. As you can see, the debut album No Wives from Bristol, UK’s Falling Stacks is just this. We mention the cover because it’s so out there and simple. There is no doubt we would pick this one up if we stumbled across this during one of our cd excursions. The three-piece has definitely brought back that mid 90’s to early 2000’s math rock feel when bands like June of 44 were coming on to the scene and others like Fugazi, Shellac and lesser knowns Drive Like Jehu were making noise within this genre.
Released through Battle Worldwide Records, No Wives is a whirlwind of punk and math rock as there is not one dull moment to be found here. The album offers everything form quick and swift technical change ups to offbeat Jesus Lizard-like mayhem. The vocals are perfect, they have this unfiltered raw emotion, at times they are muffled and other times low and screechy, sounding as if he is singing in a different room than the band. All this adds up to one hell of an entertaining album that should not get overlooked.
1. Pool Party
2. Dust Motes
3. Sections and Sub-Sections
4. No Stops
5. Los Ticos
6. A Fly Would Slide
7. Seven Cuts
9. Double Scull
10. New Dog
“Pool Party” sets the tone from the get go, you’ll know whether this is for you or not. It has all the ingredients needed for a math rock song, pulsating drum-work, a thumpy bass and technical guitar playing. With no break, we go right into “Dust Motes” and this one is terrific, the bass line is highly addicting. This track just makes you want to head out to see them live. “Sections and Sub-Sections” brings things down just a bit, it’s a nice change of pace, and the vocals are a bit reminiscent of Sid Vicious. The erratic “No Stops” has great change ups and tempo variations; this one will keep you on your toes. Its impressive how much energy goes into the vocals to not have them stand out, they keep them low enough just to be heard.
If you’re looking for more infectious bass work, than tune into tracks five and seven “Los Ticos and “Seven Cuts”. These two songs sound massive when cranked up quite a few notches. Be patient with “A Fly Would Slide,” this one takes time to build and gives us a break from the math/punk onslaught for a couple minutes. At the 2:20 mark it quickly shifts into a moderate frenzy of off-beat punk. The album continues to impress with “Silverware” and its contagious tight start-stop rhythms. “Double Scull” has a brooding bass line along with Jesus Lizard mayhem that ensues toward the end. The last cut “New Dog” is just another terrific song that embodies everything the band does so well. We think the song may be about someone who lost their new dog, not sure, but it’s intriguing.
Falling Stacks are a welcome surprise in the math rock genre. We love the fact the band is constantly shifting rhythms and continuously changing tempos throughout the entire album. Anyone who is looking for something new within this genre will not be disappointed; these guys are the real deal. - 8/28/2015
Standout Tracks: Dust Motes, Los Ticos, Seven Cuts