Coming on the heels of a nationwide tour, The Young Maths clearly want to claim their place as the most important indie-rock band in the RGV and gain a wider audience with the release of their first full-length album, Errorrs. No other local band has cultivated the same following (through sheer force of showmanship) that the Maths have right now. Errorrs works best when the Maths sticks to what made them the unofficial Ambrosia(R.I.P.) house-band: bass lines that make people have to dance, high-energy emotive vocalizations, fast beats and tempo changes, excellence in drumming, experimentation and genre-mashing, and the moments that make me think the Maths would do best to add a permanent brass section to the band. The weakest track comes in the form of “The Cannon Choir,” with its gratuitous guitar solos and silly lyrics (the words “brought to you commercial-free” and “do you remember mixtapes from the war?” are sang in all earnestness). Unfortunately, the Maths fall victim to what my friend calls “whiny vocals with interesting tempo and chord changes” in the middle of the album. I thought I remembered hearing “Treble Reducer” during several generic well-known indie-rock bands’ ACL sets last year and the year before that. Influences on Errorrs are all over the place- from jazz to Jesus Lizard to Interpol and early-Radiohead; I even heard the penumbras of dubstep and Chris Cornell (seriously- listen to the first and last minutes of “Practicing Invisibility”). That said, “Errorrs,” “Latin Roots,” and “7 is 11” get it right- they exemplify what is so enjoyable about The Young Maths.
One last thing: the talent and musicianship of the band is worth noting. I think that the technical difficulty at which the band plays had been lost on me until I put on headphones to listen to Errorrs (probably because the Maths are such great performers). They are also seriously talented, hard-working, and ambitious musicians. With or without Errorrs the Young Maths are the most exciting band in South Texas right now.
Verdict: Like a 10 p.m. Ambrosia show- fun, a little too short, sober, crowded, and without a Weezer cover. On the whole the material isn’t strong enough to be the breakout LP the band was hoping for. The ambitious Maths would have been better off editing Errors into a tighter EP. And why are there four r’s in the album’s title?
The song: “Errorrs”
The other song: “Latin Roots”
Welcome the Maths back to the Valley at the Errorrs release party tonight at Cine el Rey. I was going to stay home and avoid another hangover, but after a few listens of Errorrs I think I’m going to have to go downtown tonight. I heard drinks are on George Dean.