Last month there was a bit of a debate around whether 6 Music should replace Radio 3 on FM. Classical music tests musicians’ awesomeness and showcases their techniques. We tried that in rock music and ended up with Prog. And Prog’s just not acceptable in my eyes. It might test the limits of rock music, but it also tests my patience.
But to me Math Rock pushes the boundaries in a good way. On Saturday I checked out Delta Sleep and Axes in Clwb Ifor Bach, and both of them were suitably epic without verging over into anything as overblown as Prog.
Delta Sleep might have audacious guitar parts, but they manage to convey a different feeling. Having already seen them live (and been blown away) this year, I knew that they would be playing some technical music. But the vocal element puts something pretty different in the mix from a standard Math Rock band. The complex beats marry with the melody of the vocals to bring together something quite unique. Their set was a mix of new tracks (including the awesome Spy Dolphin) and older stuff, which ended with the unreal 16:40am.
It’s fair to say that Axes are a different beast to Delta Sleep. They’re instrumental for one thing, but what both bands definitely share is a great presence. It’s obvious that they love playing live, and for a technical band they’re incredibly busy performers. This track is from their new LP Glory, which I haven’t had a chance to check out yet, but I’ll definitely be getting my mitts on it.
Saturday night showed that classical music isn’t the only music for intellectuals, but above all, it showed that good rock music has got heart.