Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Maps & Atlases - You Me And The Mountain EP

Submitted by: Dave Middleton

This album (or EP rather) marks a milestone for me. It is the first album submitted to me through my email by someone I don't know personally. It's also apparent upon listening to this submission, that Dave Middleton knows exactly what I am looking for and trying to accomplish, because this is one hell of a solid EP.

When I was told that Maps & Atlases were a math rock band, I was expecting loud guitars, odd times and crazy tempo changes. I mean really, when I hear Math Rock I think of Q & Not U, North Of America, or the plethora of Halifax bands that started up after Rockets Red Glare came through here. I was surprised when it turned out to be toned down volume wise, but every bit as technical and impressive as a Battles record (sans the arrogance).

Drummer Chris Hainey finds a way to be technically impressive, but remain artistically interesting. There is a fine line between doing something new and innovative or sounding like an asshole jerking off on your instrument, and Hainey never strays into the pompous side of techincal drumming.

He has a tendency to throw in super quick 16th or 32nd notes in between normal patterns, using the rims of his drums, or wood blocks to accent them. It gives an organic feel to the songs, it's never too jarring. He usually has something keeping a steady pulse (like a kick or his high hats) so you can still bob your head to the songs (even with your hands in your pockets, if thats your thing).

While it's a quick five songs to run through, Haines is engaging the whole time, you never feel like he is settling for less in his playing, it all feels thought out and clever, and with perfect time, it is executed properly with no bullshit. If a drummer this good is still working the underground circuit in his city, then guys like me have no chance.

Let's hope this blog thing works out.

Audio/Visual Evidence : Artichokes, Witch


  1. Hey thanks for posting this!

    I'd also recommend the other EP they have. 'Tree, Swallows, Houses'. Its a little more upbeat. Can't wait for a full length album from these guys.

    If I find any more bands that have worthy drumming Ill be sure to send em your way.


  2. I actually got both records at the same time but figured I would post the EP since it is their most recent release (so it's probably easier to find).

    The album however, is just as good.