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Lite - Multiple CD (album) cover




Post Rock/Math rock

4.09 | 3 ratings

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4 stars Lite is a Post Rock/Math Rock band from Tokyo, Japan, and was formed in 2003 by the foursome of Noboyuki Takeda (guitar), Kozo Kusumoto (guitar), Jun Izawa (bass) and Akinori Yamamoto (drums). They have released 6 albums and a handful of EPs to date. Their sixth album, "Multiple", was released in early June of 2019. The album consists of 10 tracks and has a total run time of almost 2 minutes. Each track tends to stay around 4-5 minutes.

The band says that their music combines the melodic side of post rock and the complex side of math rock, combining both for their style. "Double" starts off the album with rapid fire and repetitive guitar notes and a fast drum that almost matches the notes. Soon the bass joins in with the same pattern, then the complexity starts when the 2nd guitar comes in. All of this together makes for an exciting sound, veering closer to the math rock side of things, but still retaining a solid melody. Before 2 minutes, things smooth out a bit as it gets more melodic, but remains upbeat. It returns to a complex meter again later. Great opener. "Deep Layer" contnues with an upbeat sound and comes in with a growling bass and jangling guitar. Again the 2nd guitar comes in and things get more complex. When the rhythm drops out later, there is a repeating guitar pattern and the song develops over that, working back into the main theme.

"Blizzard" starts with a repeating note, a fast clicking rhythm and an almost reggae attitude in the guitar. The second guitar comes in with a nice, deep sound that almost reminds one of the surf sounds of the past, but not quite. A funky pattern comes in later, and you actually feel like you could tap your foot to math rock for the first time. It's a fun and catchy track that should give the band some exposure in certain markets. There is a bit of spoken word in there that sounds like a field recording. The chiming guitars remind you that this is still a post rock band, but the sound is infectious all the way through. The track flows into "Maze" which has a hesitant feel in the processed guitar passage and a light percussive sound keep it moving forward, contrasted with a growling bass. "One Last Mile" has a more math rock sound with the guitar patterns, but the band still isn't afraid to add interesting effects to keep it dynamic. After 2 minutes, a fast strumming pattern makes everything intense and changes in texture keep it interesting.

"Ring" features vocals from two guests. The music is upbeat again with the sounds of steel drums (probably generated effects). The vocals are deep, but appealing with the nice bright sound. The picked notes of the guitars combined with the percussion give it a "Tortoise" like vibe, but the vocals tend to give it a poppy attitude too, but the supporting music shifts around enough to keep it all interesting. "Zone 3" has a definite King Crimson vibe from the Belew era, that metallic automated sound from the Discipline album. The rhythm shifts from complexity to steady keeping things dynamic. Halfway through, it goes into a stop/start pattern before slipping back to the main theme. After that, it goes for a heavier sound at the last part. "Temple" begins with an ascending/descending guitar riff pattern and has chiming guitars playing over the top in a moderate rhythm and sudden bursts of intensity. After a sudden stop, the guitar pattern changes to a more complex sound and things get heavier and the guitars get scratchy.

"4 mg Warmth" begins with percussive sounds, bringing in a slight oriental vibe. Picked guitar notes come across as quick staccato sounds and the percussion becomes tonal. Again, you can hear the "Tortoise" influence in this one as the percussive style continues and then light vibes can be heard above it all. A rhythmic shift at the mid-point keeps things interesting and a melodic guitar line chimes in this time and then it fades out. "Clockwork" continues with the percussive guitar notes and an interesting drum pattern. Guitar chords later provide a intermittent melody and the music alternates from staccato sounds to strummed chords. There is an interesting higher register melody played by what sounds like keyboards, but there are none listed in the credits, so it's some kind of percussive instruments would be my guess. Nice sound.

This is an excellent album which gives math rock a push towards an accessible sound in some places, but still remains dynamic and interesting all the way through. I really love the lighter sound that is present through most of this album, and also the fact that, for Math Rock, the music mostly has an upbeat and dynamic attitude, which is usually missing in that genre. The music is inventive, each track has it's own personality, and the music never seems to get stagnant. The band follows in the footsteps of it's contemporaries like "Tortoise" but, for the most part, veers away from too much experimentation, keeping the sound more accessible and melodic for the masses, but also keeping things innovative for the people that love the more complex side of things. Excellent album.

TCat | 4/5 |


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