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Maps & Atlases - You And Me And The Mountain CD (album) cover

YOU AND ME AND THE MOUNTAIN

Maps & Atlases

 

Post Rock/Math rock

3.71 | 11 ratings

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Moatilliatta
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Maps & Atlases dazzled us with their ability to fuse the technical wizardry of Don Caballero with poppy melodies on their debut EP Tree, Swallows, Houses. Since then, record labels have dazzled us by not paying for a full-length from these guys. OK, I can't support that claim, but really, has that ever mattered to me? It's just as possible that the band only managed to write 5 great songs for their next release. Truly, I'm all about a band taking their time when it comes to writing songs, and should never feel obligated to write more material than they can at the expense of quality, but goodness, why isn't this band turning more heads around here (here being the world as a whole)? It's clear that the band is on a low budget: those who saw them on tour a year or so ago may have noticed their drummer's only crash cymbal falling apart on stage. The guy places that cymbal way too high and at an improper angle, and that's why it cracked, but that isn't the point: the band can't even replace that cymbal! Yes, that's another claim I can't completely support, but it seems like a logical inference, doesn't it?

Anyhow, Maps & Atlases has finally given us some more delicious, jolly music with You and Me and the Mountain. On this release, redundantly named frontman Dave Davison has eased up on the blistering riffage in order to give us even stronger melodies than before. I dare you not to sing along while you're listening - even the first time through you'll learn these melodies before the songs finish - and then sing or hum them later on that day. Don't think that the band is simplifying their stuff, though. While the technicality may not be as obvious here, there are more textures and layers on this one than on their debut. And what a fantastic use of woodblock throughout! They also haven't completely foregone the fretboard tap dancing; you'll hear it here, but much more subdued and supportive of the melody. I must say, that is exactly how they should have channeled that aspect of their music. There wasn't much more they could have done with the over-the-top speedy riffs. They did a great job with them before, but I think the band is now starting to develop a sound they can call their own. It's not so easy to pin down the sound on this one, and since it's even more catchy and accessible than their old sound, that can only be a good thing.

I can't to hear more from this band in the future. If you haven't checked these guys out, I recommend that you do so immediately. Warning: the vocals may sound a little strange, but I'll be darned if they don't spew the most infectious melodies a cerebral song can allow. While any of these five songs is a case in point, I find myself attracted to the title track and "Ted Zancha" the most. Advise for starters: just start! Check out anything! Go!

Moatilliatta | 4/5 |

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