Album Review: Poly-Math - 'Melancolia'

With this reviewer still reeling from the sheer dazzling brilliance of the recent VASA album, a kind chap at Wall of Sound has recommended another slice of quirky, ambitious British music for the WTH Blows treatment. ‘Melencolia’ is the up-coming release, due 8th April via Superstar Destroyer Records, from Brighton-based experimental math-rock types Poly-Math. So, are the three tracks, clocking in at an impressive 36 minutes, any good?

‘Melancolia I’ starts things start off with a low-fi acoustic passage, which meanders along nicely before the first of many awkward, tricky riffs wades in. The early stages provide a near-immediate showcase in the rapid way in which time signatures and mood quickly shift, with the band mixing atmospheric passages with moments of bewildering cacophony to great effect. Reference points such as early Muse and Mars Volta weirdness spring to mind, all held together with exuberant rock muscle. However, half-way through the track, a delicious build-up climaxes in an utterly joyous limbs-everywhere, moshpit-erupting release that is frankly worth the price of the mini album alone.

The second half of ‘Melancolia I’ provides an extended ambient comedown, before ‘Ekerot’ jump-starts with more impressive riff acrobatics, further reminding how honed everything sounds. Rather than just milking such moments indefinitely, Poly-Math realise when to calm things down, preventing the listening becoming numb to the moments of fury on display and adding even more impact when the riff nirvana returns. Third track ‘Temptation of the Idler’ begins with one of the EP’s more straightforward moments. Given a constant drive for exploration, things divert to another driving groove, before more weirdness takes over, constantly leaving the listener guessing. Some tribal drumming eventually brings everything down to a near standstill, leaving the track to fade with a similar acoustic refrain that started proceeding in what seems (in a good way) half a lifetime ago.

Take time to stray from the mainstream, and there is some damn fine British music on offer. ‘Melencolia’ is a another prime example of this, mixing heavy, experimental, and complex to superb effect. Top work guys…. top work.

Mini Album Review by DS_Convertible