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Welcome to the second issue of the Musical Mathematics zine. Firstly Id like to personally thank you, yes YOU! Thanks for taking the time to pick up a physical copy of this handmade, hand folded, hand typed many-paged beauty. Its nice to see so many people enjoying our site and all the stuff we put on there, not to mention the endless amount of unbelievable music we endlessly praise, promote and ultimately listen to.

We at MM have been devilishly busy as of late adding more and more exciting and promising stuff to our already big schedule of reviews, news, interviews and gigs. Since the first Zine weve seen our debut compilation come and go; with over 400 downloaded in one day, the 21 track album (featuring songs from Adebisi Shank, The JCQ, Native, Zach Hill, Tall Ships and many more) became a huge success. With the CDs long gone and the download figures still rising we have no choice but to release a second compilation (more details to come). Weve seen our first batch of T-Shirts, Posters and Zines completely sell out in a very short time thanks to our brilliant band of followers, we wouldnt be able to bring you this issue if it wasnt for the immense about of bromance going around. But dont worry there will be a brand new batch of ultimate merch ready for everyone very soon. We aim to be a stable and persistent part of the Leeds alternative music scene in the coming years and if theres a great gig, odds on we will probably be there. So if you see us, get involved! Send emails, post your opinions, meet us at gigs and let us know what music youre listening to. Keep in the loop with us at our website which is constantly updating with interviews, album reviews, our Band of the Week features, gig listings, competitions, photos and loads more. MM is a merry team of mystic musical mathematicians who all share a common affection and deadly affliction for what we do. The team has now grown into a massive group of nine members who all bring their own ideals and abilities to musical mathematics. We aim, strive and hope to be a stable and persistent part of the Leeds alternative music scene as well as the wider global community. Many Thanks Team MM FRONT COVER ARTWORK - MATT THE HORSE Aka Leeds based illustrator Matthew Hodson, illustrator, poet, designer, blogger, and all around good egg. Matt has a recognisable style, imaginative, simple and bold, using mostly just a scanner, pens and paper and a limitless imagination. We are proud to be showing an original piece of Matts for our cover and a screen print based on the theme Chaos in Music.


A sharp lookin fella in a red fabric mask mans the bass guitar with chaotic precision whilst bouncing in unison alongside the twiddles and strikes of a juddering guitarist. The pounding, commanding, dictating, thumping, clouting drums from behind meet the electric noise in the middle. Strong riffs and hooks bellow and sound from speaker to speaker smashing hot instrumental alternative rock all over the room. (10/5/2011 @ The Brudenell Social club) I have never in my 21 years on this planet ever ventured, in any shape or form to the part of the world called Ireland, neither north nor south. I always feel that I should go, but the opportunity has never arisen. St. Patricks day in Dublin (as I have been told) is shit-hot, so I dont know why I dont just get a cheap flight over. I think I know what Im going to do this summer. With the introduction of their 1st and (most recently) 2nd album, the band from Wexford, Ireland have honed their style, proving that their music is terrific and terrifyingly addictive. Their albums, although both brilliant, each shed a contrasting light on the band, This is the Album of a band called Adebisi Shank is a truly powerful LP which is fast paced, distorted and compellingly familiar throughout. Whilst the aptly (you guessed it) named This is the Second Album of a band called Adebisi Shank shows right from the word go, (well in this case the word International Dreambeat) that the album is very different from the last. The 2nd LP is more studio based opposed to the live feel of the 1st, more effects, processors and electronic based sounds are at work here, creating both a more varied and broad sound.

Words by Andy Crowder



But, I have been indulging in a healthy dose of Irish rock music as of late. One band in particular have twisted, controlled and captivated my musical mind into a well-fashioned attractive mush. Adebisi Shank have uncompromisingly been creating a truly one-of-kind sound since the release of their 1st EP This is the EP of a band called Adebisi Shank in 2007. The brute-force and rawness on such tracks as Horse & Jump Cut showed the true talent that the Irish instrumental trio possessed in their song writing and showmanship. Adebisi Shank are a loud, eccentric, energetic, electric and elegantly experimental band who predominantly make their music with guitar, bass and drums. Yet their noise is a thick and well-crafted powerhouse of magical licks, bleeps, tinks, booms and glitches made with a sea of pedals and knobs; an orchestra of power fuzz.

Adebisi Shank are becoming more and more well known with every gig, record, review and music video. Their increasing popularity has landed them some brilliant opportunities over the past few years, whether its touring Japan, playing SXSW over in the States, signing to Sargent House records or even being nominated for a Choice Music Prize, they have done some epic stuff.


Check out Adebisi Shank @


So make sure you dont let these titans, these mammoths of instrumental alternative rock pass you by, youll regret it.

Words by Jack Dooley


Fresno math rockers Mane Horse are about as new to the scene as a band could be. Two demos surfaced late last year, upon which the What Do You Mean Were Just Friends EP was released not long after. After theyve exhausted the basement show circuit, the band has a bright indie future ahead of them.



Shapes first graced our ears in early 2008 with their debut EP Get Your Learn On, and what a stonker of an EP it is. 2009 saw the band sign to Big Scary Monsters and the release of their second EP, The Pasture, The Oil, with hard hitting guitars, bass and constant changes in tempo. Where some bands would fail miserably, Shapes really pulled this one out of the hat. This EP was a sterling progression from the first, whenever I give it a listen I feel like Im listening to some sort of Mculsky/Mars Volta hybrid; not two bands Id ever really place in the same sentence but Shapes seem to have captured elements of each with this EP. The Pasture, The Oil, was also released as a remix album featuring various artists. I enjoy the odd remix from time to time, its nice to hear another artists take on a song. If I had to choose my favorite track of the remix album it would have to be Such Stoics (remixed by Jarvis Talons) because its a nice contrast from the original. Alongside BSM, Japanese label Zankyo Records released both EPs to the Japanese market and as a natural progression they headed over to Tokyo to tour. The more I look at it the more I realise that the Japanese have an incredible taste in music. The past year has seen Shapes tour the country with the likes of Okay Pilot, Glassjaw and Pulled Apart By Horses. The Birmingham based three piece are set to release their brand new debut full-length album Monotony Chic, the album was recorded in Sweden with producers Eskil Lvstrm & Pelle Henricson (Refused, Poison the Well, Hell is for Heroes). Expect to hear a new side from the band.

As an American transplant living abroad in London, I find myself absorbed in a new town, a new scene and, naturally, a breadth of new music. As much fun and illuminating as the immersion into all things Blighty has been, my bouts of acute nostalgia for Jersey post-punk, Midwest math-rock, and California easycore are frequent. By looking for inspiration across the pond, I hope to regularly suggest a crop of great North American acts and some standout tracks to get you started.


This surprisingly prolific Scranton, PA five-piece already has 3 full lengths and a couple of EPs under their belt. With the help of Run For Cover Records, the band has built a sizeable cult following and plays extensively throughout the entirety of the US.

Monotony Chic could quite possibly bow your mind. Expect a full review to come. Check out Shapes at


For a young group of Philadelphia based musicians who have yet to reach 20 years of age, the world of twinkly emocore is their oyster. After releasing the 5-track Summer Shit EP back in 2010, the band parted ways to start university and soon after reformed under the new name Mallard.


While likening any band to early Taking Back Sunday can be either a huge hit or a huge miss, Californias gritty pop-punkers Forever Came Calling take on the title in a way that is neither hackneyed nor uninspired.


Its likely that Kidcrash needs no introduction. But, in the event that they still remain unknown to a few, consider this one of the best new tips youve heard in awhile. As a group of four currently split between two locations, Olympia, WA and Portland, OR, they have no problem with regular output. Their entire catalogue is available for free download.

Words by Liz Jones

Shapes have a brilliant talent of bringing discord, confusion and mayhem into their songs without it becoming a mess. Their songs are loud, angry and passionate whilst always pushing the boundaries of their musical abilities to the limit (which is very far indeed).


Words by Jay M Johar



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Hello you avid MM readers and welcome to Top 5, where we count down the most brilliant and bodacious features in music. In each issue I hope to bring something new, elegant, enthralling and exciting to Musical Mathematics. This time I am taking a look at 5 duos/two piece bands that often confuse the average person. Why dont they just get a bass player?! I hear you say Its an intimate clash of two minds coming together to make music, which can be both simple and yet often complex. So, lets have a look mofuckerrzz. Japandroids Self proclaimed garage band from Vancouver, Canada, Japandroids play with true grit. Crunchy distorted guitars play against jittery drumbeats to create a shit-hot sound best served live and loud. Post-Nothing is a very, very powerful album and will keep you crazy head bangers at bay whilst making you punch the sky in joy. Drink beer and enjoy music. Rico Demitri Very, very unknown band from the suburbs of Burton-Upon-Trent; famous for its yeasty beer and spread apposed to its unknown music scene, Rico Demitri have been extremely busy. Demo upon demo has been uploaded giving us an incite into a band that are extremely new. Bass Vs Drums scenario is present here, wielding extreme fuzz-core standards. Squarepusher meets DnB? God I dont know, but whatever it is its good, get stuck in. The Clippers Boston, MA-based The Clippers have been on constant repeat in the MM office after we purchased their very short but amazingly sweet EP An evening with. Amid each of the 5 tracks clocking in at less than 2 minutes, its not long until youve listened to the mini album over 6 times, but I couldnt care less. Each song is more addictive and endearing than the last, imposing vocals cut through the crunched guitars with delight and showmanship helping to push the Clippers sound deep into the back of your brain. Pop Id like to introduce you to my friend called rock. The Clippers are heading out on tour with Sneeze throughout July-August so make sure you check them out.

Heliport Desarroi Esthetique After two years of production Desarroi Esthetique is the highly anticipated album from Heliport. From start to finish, this album is captivating with its interesting combination of melodic vocals and punk rhythms. Post Card From The North is a brilliant example of Heliports bilingual lyric writing skills whilst Polar Elsewhere emphasises the awesome tones of Giis bass that sounds so rad live! Finishing on the title track, apparently about a narcissistic publicist from the 90s, this song rounds up the album perfectly and captures Heliports unique sound accompanied by their incredible vocal harmonies. Check out the recent MM interview with Heliport on the blog. Check out the recent MM interview with Heliport on the blog. Sport Demo 2011 With five tracks named after various summer and winter Olympics, Sports debut E.P. has youthful punk rock feel to it making it the perfect addition to your summers soundtrack! Jangly chords work their way through huge breakdowns and buildups whilst the gruff solo and gang vocals give the songs that American punk rock feeling. The first track Athnes, 1896 is even graced with a tremolo solo, which really gets the rest of the E.P. into full swing. These guys are a bit difficult to track down online but they do have a tumblr page with show dates and music: Pneu - Highway To Health The latest release from manic twopiece Pneu is brutal in the best sense of the word! It still mystifies me how two people can create such an intricate and heavy sound! The levels of production on this album are incredible and so they should be! Trying to match the chaotic sound Pneu conduct live is a tough challenge but this album pulls it off as close to the real thing as possible. Tropicon brings a new sound to the duos repertoire with its summery feel whilst at the other end of the spectra Choux Crane stays true to their usual impulsive carnage. Joining JB and Jrme is Oxbows Eugene Robinson who adds a completely new edge to the guys sound on Knife Fight. You can find Pneu on myspace. You can find Pneu on myspace!

Words by Andy Crowder

For the first edition of Where on Earth? the spotlight is glowing over France. 2011 has been an exciting year so far for our brothers across the channel and the bands below really show the incredible talent that is brewing over there. Lets hope they will all be coming over to our British ears sometime soon.

Hymns Ex-blakfish power duo Hymns have been causing a stir on the said scene of late, playing a few select shows around the U.K. with Shapes and releasing their debut belter A punch to the temple. Huge drums, crunched melodic guitars and passionate strained vocals all crash around your brain when listening to this band. Hymns are truly, extremely refreshing. With an album set for later in the year it seems Hymns are determined to bring their post-hardcore take on classical music to the people.

Death From Above 1979 Im not sure this band even needs an introduction, but Death From Above 1979 are the quintessential rock duo. The Canadian two-piece released their debut album Youre a Woman, Im a Machine in 2004, which was nothing less than a masterpiece. Fuzzy upbeat basslines smashed together with fierce drum hits to produce songs that were both alternative and danceable. Although DFA1979 split back in 2006, the Toronto based Dance-Punk Duo announced their long-awaited return in February 2011. So if you are at Leeds/ Reading this year, make sure you catch these unbelievable beauties live.

Apes Did Ensemble Debut E.P. Compared to the other featured bands Apes Did Ensemble arent so heavy going, but dont let this put you off this incredible E.P released last summer. The first track (everybody loves) Magritte will get a crowd dancing for sure with a good percussive element and some ornamental guitar riffs, topped off with sweet gang vocals towards the end. The entire release incorporates a wide range of instrumentation and vocal styles while maintaining a fresh sound not to mention the production, which is impeccable! Find these guys at

Words by Edd Colbert

From the ashes of Colour (two-thirds of them, to be exact) up rises Tangled Hair. This debut EP from the trio although the demo itself definitely deserved its own full release - will undoubtedly be endlessly compared to Alan Welshs and James Troods former band. However, after just one listen to Apples, its clear that they have definitely evolved musically and applied new influences to their new musical project, especially with the inclusion of bassist Alex Lloyd.

This is math pop at its best, with dashes of jazzy influences omnipresent in Welshs guitar work. The vocals are ripe for gig sing-alongs, the melodies are made to dance to, and the time signatures are as unconventional as it can be before it starts becoming an incoherent mess. Intricate and unpredictable in equal measure, Apples is a gloriously layered record. If it doesnt catch you at first try, then be patient and it will grow on you. This is an EP worth your time and effort. MM: Hey hey guys! Just to start us off what did you have for lunch today? &: A Piri Piri Chicken baguette, Worcester sauce crisps and a can of ginger beer. MM: So, whats the story behind the name &U&I? &: Its a song by Yes, we just liked the way name is also a logo. MM: When you guys are out and about on tour are there any vital things you cant go without (besides your instruments)? Equally are there any tour van rules? &: Youve always got to have a pillow. General van rule is Peckett cant pass wind Which gets broken too much.

Words by Jay M Johar

&U&I play heavy math-rock/hardcore, and they play it fantastically. After an outstanding tour this year, a brilliant single and an album in the pipeline, theyre already on track to smash it this year! We caught up with Wiz to talk about touring, recording and chicken baguettes.

MM: Since Blakfish how do you feel the three of you have progressed as musicians? Have you changed your approach to writing songs? &: The song writing process has changed quite a lot, nothing is preconceived. All our songs are written from bouncing ideas about. From this I think everyone is more confident; I have suggested guitar ideas (in a vague manor) as well as the guys suggesting drum ideas. MM: Your E.P. Kill the Man that Shot that Man came out last October, it featured the song The Boy with the Beard. It differs in sound to the rest of the release, is there a reason behind this or did you just fancy a change from the heavier stuff?
&: It was something Rich was playing, so we just started jamming it and decided to use it. Although we all like the song I think itll be the last &U&I song youll hear in that dynamic for a while.

MM: More and more bands nowadays are releasing material on vinyl, do you think this is a dying fad or is there a future for this type of media? &: Vinyl is a nice idea but costs too much to make. I think vinyl will carry on though. Youll always have collectors, even if they dont listen to them and just have them on a shelf to look at.


MM: If you could form and manage your own dream band, who (dead or alive) would feature in it and why? &: Abe Cunningham (Deftones) on drums, Jason Rosethal (On the Might of Princes) on guitar, Manny (Glassjaw) on bass and Greg Puciato (Dillenger Escape Plan) on vocals. Id call them *THE ANGELS OF DEATH*


MM: Do the three of you have any joint pet hates? &: Errrm, probably. Actually, I dont know.

MM: If you could cover one song what would it be and why? &: Ive always wanted to cover a Meet in St Louis song, just to say that we were actually able to play it. MM: Have you bought any good records lately? Or do you prefer the digital variety? &: I went to see Glassjaw last month in London. On the way out they were handing out Colouring Book their new record It is incredible. Massively different to anything previous so takes a few listens. I seriously recommend it.

MM: Asides from touring what does the rest of 2011 have in store for &U&I? &: We are off to Lisbon, Portugal in June to record our debut album with Chris Common (drummer from These Arms Are Snakes).


MM: As &U&I, which town has given you the best audience for your shows since last year? &: Weve had a good ride so far. Weve only put one gig down to being bad. Id say a gig we did in Leicester a couple of weeks back was a strong one Its hard to pick.


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Words by Edd Colbert

Words by Jack Dooley

When I came up with this title I didnt really know what to investigate, so I thought Id use the city of Leeds. Sadly as much as Id like to say Ive seen the far corners of this vast city, I cant. If Im honest Ive only ever ventured out of the city centre for an Otley run or to go chill with MM Bro Crowder.

Quite possibly the most impressive thing about Leeds is the active DIY scene which is heavily supported by venues and promoters alike, most notably Dirty Otter, Cops and Robbers and of course MMs local - the Brudenell Social Club.

Leeds is for fans of: cheap beer, good music, Greggs and moustaches. All in all compared to my home town, in terms of music, Leeds has definitely got more to offer simply because its hard to find a night where there isnt some sort of show going on. Whether its a band that has a huge following or a band whos fan base consists of parents, close friends and anyone whos fortunate enough to be around at the time, theres always something going on. Without trying to sound like a travel agent Leeds is certainly one of the places to be when it comes to music. With the amount of EPs and Demos that are produced by bands these days its extremely nice to have a big bulky 8+ song album land in your lap. Mini-Albums are still needed and have an immense amount of importance in the musical world, but you cant get a concept or bands true feel without the hard work, graft and direction of a full length LP.

Now when you look up Leeds on sites such as wikipedia you get lots of facts which are interesting but they dont really tell you what Leeds is like unless of course you are generally interested in the longitude and latitude of Leeds, which is 534759N, 13257W (just incase you are). For me Leeds is quite possibly one of the best places for music. Its hard to find a night when there isnt a band or artist (no matter how big or small) playing a show somewhere in one of the many venues that are scattered around. This was made clear to me three days into freshers week when Andy Luke and I ventured down to the cockpit to catch Tall Ships and Tubelord feat. Alan of Tangled Hair - that was a gig and a half.



Brontide are a band that coincidently have a debut album to shout about. The trio of drums, guitar and bass seems like a fairly simple set up for a group, but these guys dont let this get in their way. The album at a glance has an unassuming appearance, simple artwork and mostly one-word track names that dont suck you in right away. But after listening to the 8-tracks, the minimalist album artwork and intriguing song names become clear, they fit with the bands voiceless identity.

Songs like Jura and Tenbytwobyfour show the true creative and artistic flare of the trio, taking the listener through level upon level of brilliantly moulded melodic moments, which combine with breathtaking effects and adaptive synths. Throughout the course of Sans Souci, Brontide frequently demonstrate their capability of showing a light and dark side, bringing their constantly changing ideas into a smooth and well flowing army of songs.

Whether its the high pitched triggered guitar tones in Tenbytwobyfour, the elegantly finger-tapped bass and guitar in Arioso, the blast beat drums in Limehouse Ink or the prevailing united force that is Bespoke, Brontide have managed to create an ever-so irreplaceable network of tunes which should appeal to a wide range of listeners. There is something for everyone in this 8-track album.


Matador kicks off proceedings as a perfect introduction to Sans Souci, stick taps and string plucks contrast perfectly against the often brash other side of Brontide; where the band voice their affection for the heavier riff. Throughout the record their songs twist and turn with intense and even brutal breakdowns, which wouldnt be too far from metal-core status. But before you can get your death claw ready the moment has passed and they continue to plunge deeper into the next musical medley.

This angular, tuneful, beautifully ferocious and passionate album is a manic and monumental masterpiece which will forever have a place in my record collection. Hands down my album of the year so far. Check out Brontide and order Sans Souci @ www. brontide

Words by Andy Crowder

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Conquistadors (or Conks as they are affectionately known) their third EP On Tape is a pigeonhole-dodging, incredibly versatile record that aims to play with your expectations of genre conventions. The most specific term I can think of without being too narrow is melodic post-punk, but even that label falls short in describing Conquistadors sound in On Tape. The intro track is pretty much just a preview of songs so well start with the second track Black Swan. In the songs first half it seems like we are treated to a brilliant mix of math pop and melodic punk, but then in the second half it excellently charges head first into Blakfish territory. Homework, with its pop melodies and wonderful harmonies, typify Conquistadors fearless, genre-surfing philosophy. Its then not surprising that Homework is immediately followed by the shouty, sharp and startling vocals of Oh, Luxembourg! which then climaxes to playful harmonies and hymn-like choruses. Bake Your Cake And Eat It is layers of riffs and probably the most traditional track of the lot. But that doesnt take away its energetic, raw power. So what else can they throw at us? Surely nothing can surprise us anymore! But low and behold, theyve included an atmospheric, beautifully done, Inspired Insomniac remix of Homework. Here it is turned into a relatively sparse yet beautiful reinterpretation of possibly the EPs best track. Next we are treated again to another striking remix, this time of Nails. Masterfully done by Greatest Hits (Sam Manville of Hymns and ex-Blakfish), it is a haunting and chillingly brilliant reworking. Unpredictability there is a pervasive theme in the whole record, as Conquistadors constantly play with our expectations and then proceed to completely leave us flustered and confused yet at the same time oddly exhilarated. Discordant, melodic and groove-filled, On Tape charms us with its playful approach. They absorb their influences and interpret them in a way that gives their own music a unique, positively delicious flavour. On Tape was released on May 14th through Birmingham label, Godmonkey Recordings. Make sure you check out Conquistadors W/ &U&I, Shapes, Tangled Hair and Tera Melos (US) @ the HMV Institute Birmingham on the 11th of June








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Words by Jay M Johar


Words by Jay M Johar


All of our featured artists (Adebisi Shank, &U&I and Shapes) played the Brudenell Social Club in Leeds on May 10th and the whole MM team was out in force with our small merch table to witness the truly brilliant night. Maybe you saw us? On first, Shapes unleashed a cascade of progressive math rock/alt-punk to start the evening at the Brudenell Social Club with a bang. They certainly werent monotonous by any means. Discordant, chaotic and intense yet extremely tight and precise; Shapes showed why they are one of the most exciting technical hardcore bands in the UK right now. &U&I hit Leeds with their own brand of alternative rock, punk and post-hardcore on the 10th with extreme passion. Although inevitably, comparisons will be made with their previous band, but &U&I is not just Blakfish minus Sam Manville, its a different beast altogether. That night at the Brudenell, some may have come because of past associations, but many will leave in love with this new incarnation, and why not? The combination of harsh riffs, frenetic drumming, and driving basslines - complemented with sporadic bursts of chaos - resulted in a very satisfying, confident live performance from the Birmingham trio.


Adebisi Shank are the very definition of well-crafted chaos, and the Brudenell lay witness to that immutable fact. The tenacity and power of their live shows were turned to 11 at the Brudenell right from the very first note they played. The audience were constantly bombarded by the band with fist-pumping, heart-thumping hooks and beats, and they responded by absolutely adoring the band for it. Every single minute was an orgy of sound, sweat and syncopated riffs. Yet another class night put on by Dirty Otter promoters it seems. Hip-Hip! Pat yourself on the back.



many thanks