Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Stream/Download: Legs Like Tree Trunks - Future Reference

If you've read this blog enough, you know that I have an affinity for math rock. This was brought on by incessant play of Minus the Bear early in their inception. Any band that can capture a similar emotive complexity has my heart... and ears. Pittsburgh four-piece Legs Like Tree Trunks occupies a comparable position on the math rock spectrum. They are able to effortlessly switch between the organized chaos and moody reflection that originally drew me to the genre. Frantic finger tapping, dense guitar tones, and curious time signatures dominate their latest EP, Future Reference.

Opening track "Snowflake" will instantly bring to mind Maps & Atlases for those familiar with said band. It's not until their most melodic offering, "Hoods Up", where I am reminded of Minus the Bear's spacier expeditions or even American Football's meditative approach to the genre. The lyrics read like a passage describing the youth of most everyone I know: "When you're driving home in your parents car with windows all down, rain is falling in, smoke just trails out. I know you've got Feel Good Lost turned up loud. If that's not apropos, I don't know." Above the dreamy atmospherics, one piece of advice is offered: "Make sure your hood's up."

Punchier tunes like "Anchorage" and "WADM" have notes popping out everywhere in a fashion not unlike This Town Needs Guns, which makes for a fascinating aural experience. Closer "Parked Cars" brings back the chilled out vibe of "Hoods Up". The vocals stretch out as hypnotizing melodies drip from the recording. It's a good way to end an EP comprised entirely of highlights. There is much to appreciate within Future Reference. Anyone who, like me, was greatly disappointed with the latest album from Maps & Atlases needs to get this immediately. Visit their bandcamp for a free download of this exceptional EP.

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