To The Innocent

Absolutely Kosher

The word “math,” despite being only four letters long, encompasses so many different philosophies, it’s staggering. Set theory, topology, logic and calculus all fall within the rubric of math; they all represent concepts that are wildly different but at their fundament are united by numbers.

“Math rock” has many of these aspects. Complex time signatures and dynamics are one thing, but where the brains behind them take it is another. Rob Crow (of Thingy, Optigonally Yours, and the defunct Heavy Vegetable) has a unique harmonic and acoustic style that almost seems out of place among the fantastic equations being discussed elsewhere in the field. The vocal interplay between Crow and fellow ex-Vegetable Elea Tenuta is startling and solid amid the organized randomness of the music. Thingy’s melodies and arrangements are constructed of many simple and honest parts, like folk music for those with attention deficits. Their sense of humor is appropriately twisted: the lyrics of “O.B.1.” consist of a certain desperate plea from Princess Leia. And despite the complicated nature of the songs — I’d probably need a couple of years of training just to hum along — they are easy to enjoy and catchy to boot. Why does that ending break from “My Room Has a T.V.” remind me of the percolating ditty from the Maxwell House commercials?

Absolutely Kosher Records, 417 Fredrick St., San Francisco, CA 94117;

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Recently on Ink 19...

  • Bobby Rush
    Bobby Rush

    Chicken Heads: A 50-Year History of Bobby Rush ( Omnivore Recordings). Review by James Mann.

  • Geezër

    Geezër brought their old-school show all the way from their Miami rest home, and Julius C. Lacking thinks they were quite spry.

  • Bully

    Bully greets Orlando with apathy and anger toward one of its theme parks. Jen Cray smiles and thinks, “Man, this band would have fit in well in the nineties!”

  • Luther Dickinson
    Luther Dickinson

    Blues & Ballads: A Folksinger’s Songbook: Volumes I & II (New West Records). Review by James Mann.

  • Conway

    Big Talk EP (Self-Released). Review by Jen Cray.

  • Freakwater

    Scheherazade (Bloodshot Records). Review by James Mann.

  • The Haymarket Squares
    The Haymarket Squares

    Light It Up. Review by Carl F Gauze.

  • Ani DiFranco
    Ani DiFranco

    Years pass, and so do our legends, but one constant remains: there are always artists living and breathing that are worth your time and attention. Ani DiFranco is a major one, according to Jen Cray and a whole legion of fans.

  • Javier Escovedo
    Javier Escovedo

    Kicked Out Of Eden (Saustex Media). Review by James Mann.

  • Eszter Balint
    Eszter Balint

    Airless Midnight (Red Herring). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

From the Archives