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MAPS AND ATLASES – Mini Live Review + Wee Interview – Brudenell Social Club, 30th Oct 08

Posted: October 16th, 2008, by Pascal Ansell

There’s always been a problem with bands trying to find a tuneful middle-ground between math-y technical instrumentation and vocals. Maps and Atlases provide a welcome solution to this problem – solving the other dilemma that is: sounding how you want to sound (even if this happens to be pretty technical and complicated) and not resembling a contrived mess.

Singer/guitarist Dave Davison has no problem with the term ‘math-rock’ in particular, but these pigeonholes will always be clumsy. It may be that when a band aims to sound like a pigeonhole that they trip over their pansy wee skinny jeans. May very well be.

Davison sports the true mark of any dedicated and humble guitarist: massive nails on his right hand. Respect! If you get the chance to speak to him after a gig, test his English accent; pretty impressive considering M&A hail from Chicago. And that of course most Americans of course are thickos. Anybody would be pretty chuffed with a city that bears such names as Shellac, Wilco, The Smashing Pumpkins, Patti Smashing, Volcano and Fall Out Boy (…). The Big D believes that, like any other city, many bands never make much of an impression elsewhere and simply end up with a respectable fanbase in Chicago. There are probably a good handful of bands that don’t make it across the Atlantic that are kept in a little jar for the little Window City dwellers to feast upon. Probably.

M&A are an interesting – and relaxing – band to spy: chilled out and at ease, with the odd look homeward to the incredibly skilled drummer Chris Hainey. Like with Don Caballero, Hella and the many other ‘mathy’ bands that M&A draw influence from, drums are integral to their workings of this particular breed of band. There is a genuinely chuffed grin on Davison’s face as an encore is noisily suggested by a good chunk of the sweaty Brudenell regulars – and nono you’re right Mr Diskant surfingman, you just can’t beat that.


Pascal Ansell

Pascal Ansell

Pascal is a fearsome, hungry giant trapped in the body of a hyperactive boy. On a mission to waste no more than 14 seconds per day, he bounds from activity to activity like a deer being chased by a cheetah. Follow him now, as in ten year's time he'll be a leading voice in something or other. He's also writing down every word you say in a small book so watch out!


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