Exposé Online banner

Bubblemath — Edit Peptide
(Cuneiform Rune 434, 2017, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2017-09-02

Edit Peptide Cover art

Listening to this new release from Bubblemath, I couldn’t help but compare it to Cheer-Accident’s Putting off Death. Both groups are American bands with a penchant for complexity at virtually every level, from rapidly changing rhythms to unpredictable melodies to obtuse lyrics. Both albums come after relatively long gaps from their predecessors (six years for Cheer-Accident, 15 for Bubblemath). And both are released on Cuneiform. Bubblemath had not intended to wait so long for their second album to come out, but an extensive series of uncontrollable delays intervened, including medical, family, financial, and technical issues. Listening to Edit Peptide, it’s immediately obvious that music like this can’t just be thrown together in a few weeks or composed in the studio as it’s recorded. If you’re unfamiliar with Such Fine Particles of the Universe, the music can be compared to Echolyn, Ampledeed, and the previously mentioned Cheer-Accident. Perhaps the most important skill Bubblemath has is to make incredibly intricate music rock, so the trickiness doesn’t come off as gratuitous — it serves the music as a whole, being part of a barrage of ideas that engage on many levels. Kai Esbensen (vocals, keyboards), James Flagg (vocals, drums), Jon Smith (vocals, guitar), Blake Albinson (guitar, keyboards), and Jay Burrit (bass) have been together since 1998, and seem to function for all intents and purposes as a single many-limbed organism. In the ongoing (and revived) debate about progressive rock being pretentious, Bubblemath’s comment-by-deeds involves avoiding pomp, having a sense of humor, and diverting into unexpected territory in ways reminiscent of Frank Zappa and Mr. Bungle. The humor is also manifested in the lyrics, which are so full of wordplay both obvious and subtle that new twists can be found even on many repeated listens. I suppose some listeners will think that just exhibiting such intellectual intent in both music and words is pretentious, but those listeners can go back to their Ramones records and let the rest of us enjoy some seriously entertaining jaw-dropping music. Why can’t we all just “Get a Lawn,” indeed...


Filed under: New releases, 2017 releases

Related artist(s): Bubblemath

More info
http://cuneiformrecords.bandcamp.com/album/edit-peptide

Latest news

2018-11-16
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more

2018-11-02
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more

2018-10-17
Eurock Documentary Seeks Funding – We've been fans and fellow travelers with Archie Patterson and his Eurock project on the journey to discover great music. After many years of promoting and trying to spread the word,a new phase is beginning: a documentary film. Things like this don't just happen, and money does not magically appear to make it happen, so it's up to the fans to get it done. » Read more

2018-09-29
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more

2018-09-25
Help the Psychic Equalizer Avoid Extinction – Last year we reviewed the debut album by Psychic Equalizer, a musical project of Hugo Selles. He's now working on the ambitious follow-up to that release, and is seeking funding from listeners around the world. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Mindgames - International Daylight – Mindgames is yet another new neo-prog band from the Low Countries, Belgium in this case. This is their first full album, following a 1999 demo release (a new release is supposedly on the way). The...  (2005) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues