Noumenon - Party Mathematics EP
Record Label: Big Scary Monsters
Release Date: May 10, 2010
The Party Mathematics EP by Chicago’s Noumenon is basically exactly what it sounds like. It’s a piece of solidly complex math rock, and very fun. Not slow and folk or off-timing and really complicated, just fun. It should make you want to party, or you might be listening to it wrong. The musicianship is impressive from a technical standpoint, but not so much so to make the songs hard to follow. They really put together a short collection of songs that should please people into math rock, instrumental music, and partying. Because isn’t that what its really all about?
Though only five songs, the EP is great collection of songs that both sound full and noodly. The dexterous guitar work is complimented by fuzzy distorted basslines, which really gives the sound a huge impact. The bass playing style is really not anything I’ve heard in this context before, making it a pretty original aspect to help this band stand out. The guitarist is very talented, and shows off throughout the length of this EP, playing skillful lead parts that almost give songs melody, even though they are largely instrumental. And of course, the drummer is immensely talented, playing complicated rhythms with strong fills to accentuate everything done by the guitar and bass.
Though mostly instrumental, there are a few instances of vocals in the opening and closing tracks. The opener includes some cheerful gang vocals, setting the tone for the songs to follow, and sounding a lot like a party. The closer incorporates some “Woo’s” and “Ba’s”, and that’s really all that is needed. And at least one of those sets of vocals is from Evan Weiss of Into It. Over It. and Stay Ahead of the Weather according to their bandcamp page. It is clear that this band would be fine with or without vocals, as the music is able to speak for itself. You can download their EP for free on their bandcamp page, and I honestly can’t think of a reason why you would not want to. If you’re still not convinced, the band’s description of themselves should satisfy any doubts:
One - because the technical nature of the noise penetrating your eardrums is of an intricacy that would have made Nikola Tesla shit himself. Two - because of the head knockin', party startin', balls squashin', body mashin' party vibes. This particular sound, dubbed "Party Math," has enough techy-math-tapping to keep the nerdiest of nerds happy, while maintaining more drinkability than Bud Light. Fast technical drums that make Buddy Rich look like Meg White form the backbeat for unprecedented shred bass and a faster-than-lightning-on-a-Tuesday guitar style that could melt the Predator's glow-in-the-dark bleeding face. All the technicality of the music is pulled off with catchy and hot as hell melodies that inevitably get the party bumpin'. While witnessing such music in a live setting, one does not know whether to dance, or just watch and admire. Top the icing on this cake with a cherry of Midwestern values and you have the one and only Noumenon sound.