We're back after a month off, and the reason for that month off was a lack of planning. I went on holiday, and totally neglected to arrange the July version in advance, and then that post-holiday slump results in a "DO IT NEXT MONTH!" attitude. Motivated by that jaunt around Scotland, and the fact I'll be (perhaps permanently) leaving it soon, this edition is full of Scottish bands.
As always, this isn't 100% math-rock but there's certainly a tinge of that beloved genre in each of the six bands listed below. A special mention goes to The Darien Venture of course, but they were included before, so putting them on this list would be overkill. Some of these bands are alive and kicking now for you to check out and see, whilst other (oh Danana) are no longer with us.
Without further ado, and there has been a lengthy ado, off-kilter Scottish rock music for your eyes and ears...
Biffy of the Month: 'Tilted (Christine and The Queens Cover)'
From 'Take Me Out' to 'Love Sex Magic', Biffy Clyro's cover versions are usually fun and charming, and I can't stop listening to their version of 'Tilted'. (Thank you Live Lounge for providing us with a steady stream of material.) From the harmonies to Simon Neil's gruff French rapping this is pop magic, and a great service to the track which is pretty subdued in its original form.
1. Mogwai - 'Party In The Dark'
The fathers of post-rock in Scotland and possibly beyond, Mogwai's influence is undeniable and so to miss them from this list of Scottish bands would be criminal. 'Party In The Dark' comes from their upcoming record Every Country's Sun out on Rock Action next week. It's dynamic, beautiful and captivating as we've come to expect from these sonic behemoths. Their show at The Hydro in Glasgow later this year is bound to be as deafening as it is memorable.
2. Donnie Willow - 'Blessed Company'
I believe I saw these guys in a support slot once, but I can't remember exactly where or when, but I do remember their notable energy and venom. Switching between gentle indie rock and violently distorted guitars makes Donnie Willow a jarring listen. However, if you're holding back any emotions, the passion in 'Blessed Company' and the rest of their Exhibition EP will prove wonderfully cathartic.
3. Dananananaykroyd - 'Some Dresses'
WHY ARE THEY GONE?! More "fight pop" than "math-rock" Dananananaykroyd have one of the best names ever, and their debut record Hey Everyone! is simply amazing. 'Some Dresses' is one of more coherent cuts alongside single 'Black Wax', treading a simpler musical path although it's not clear what the whole tailoring metaphor is about. Double drummers and double vocalists and double guitarists means maximum fun from this sadly defunct band.
4. Vasa - 'Burst'
Back on the post-rock train and we have Vasa who ebb and flows, holding your thoughts all the while. Instrumental music at its purest and strongest is the flavour and it's thoroughly enjoyable throughout. Debut album Vasa was released in 2015 and there have been a few teasers since then. The release of 'Burst Open' (including this track) is a taste of things to come as we await the symphonies of record two.
5. Cutty's Gym - 'Dudeman'
Having had the privilege of hosting these fine gents at a Love Music Hate Racism show in Glasgow, their music is powerful and at times simply unrelenting as a mere two men generate a wall of ferocious yet infectious sound that you can dance too. Royal Blood might have the Top Ten quota of duos covered, but when in flow there's no doubt that Cutty's Gym could win that rock-off.
6. Skies Fell - 'Bear No Malice'
Another band I've watched in a support slot and some ambient rock music with fancy guitar lines to close things off. Skies Fell seem like a criminally underrated band as their dynamic and emotive music is enthralling both in the live and recorded setting, with drums and guitars and pianos and all the rest combining to create charming soundscapes. 'Bear No Malice' is a quick taste of this style, and their debut album Skies Fell is the delicious buffet.
That's all for August, thank you for reading this month's Algohythms column and I hope you enjoyed the music therein. Barring any major issues, we'll be back next month with some more "quirky" music suggestions. The kind of music that I couldn't make friends over in high school, but there you go, that doesn't mean it isn't wonderful. As always, hit me up @kj_mccormick with any suggestions you may have.