Enemies Of C. Frias by Charts And Maps was released back in 2008, and still sounds fresh today.
... They are now back with a new recording, having added a guitarist and a saxophonist to their line-up, and it shows. Stylistically somewhere between the intricacy of math rock and the solemnity of post rock, it’s especially the saxophone that adds a jazzy component, reminding me on the opener Pearl Divers Of The Arabian Peninsula a little of King Crimson. The following Herd Of Elephants is a more lyrical piece with less jazz parts. The Sheriff Suspects Arson (ii) resumes the frantic energy of the opener, before the ten minute epic In The Town Of Machine ends this half hour album with a bang. If the preceding songs were all very good, this last track is a masterpiece of combining the most different elements, including fusion, progressive rock and all of the aforementioned genres.
The math rock scene has become quite opaque lately, with always more newcomers getting into instrumental rock, but Charts & Maps definitely have the potential to stand out. At home in a math rock with fast yet most often undistorted guitars, the versatile rhythm section and the jazzy saxophone do their best to set them apart from nearly every other band. Charts & Maps list Battles and Tortoise among their influences and clearly can be located somewhere between those two. This is clearly a must-have for every fan of ambitious instrumental guitar rock music… with woodwinds!
Los Angeles based indie-jazz/math-rock (though subtly defiant of both terms)band Charts and Maps have released a 4 song EP, titled "Enemies of C.Frias". Working with engineer/producer Chris Schlarb (whose solo projects and free-jazz duo I Heart Lung are released through Sufjan Steven's Asthmatic Kitty records), the band have managed to further hone their sound while losing none of the adventurous flair of their previous releases.
Characterized by unrestrained song structure, a keen ear for new aesthetic, and an unabashed ability to throw a looping curveball in the form of a key change or time signature switch, Charts and Maps still make music for people who understand music, but have developed upon their ability to blend the aforementioned with catchy and grooving hooks. Their music is intrinsically unclassifiable, roving between genres, tied together by stylistic nuances--categorized by their uncategorizability (yeah, it's a word, apparently), as much as anything else. Instead of losing themselves in heady concept, as many bands with this kind introduction do, Charts and Maps are unequivocally listenable and sonically pleasant. Take a listen for yourself.
As key members of Heard.of.Elephants, an art/music collective that has been gathering praise, acclaim, and following in the Los Angeles area recently for their forward-thinking stance on showgoing (mixing art, music, film, and sociality into one convenient event), Charts and Maps have taken their live show to a new level. Adding Jay Watford on guitar and Mike Allison on Sax, the band's energy is unmistakable. The affair is a lot more raucous than one would imagine when listening to the intricacy of the music.
MUSIC COPYRIGHTS: Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-No Derivative Works
IMAGE: album cover
NATIONALITY: USA: California: Los Angeles
CLASSIFICATIONS: Progressive Rock; Post-Rock; Math Rock; Fusion; Saxophone; Electric Guitar
FILED UNDER: Digital: Popular Class: Progressive Rock