03 Apr 2020 - Thorsten
Math-Rock | Bird's Robe Records | Release date: 03 Apr 2020
Sunny and intriguing Math-Rock from Down Under = SEIMS
Math-Rock has been a thing back after the millennium and like many “things” it never really left but has lost in importance, also due to an overload of bands who wanted to follow that seemingly formulaic path. But often they forget that formulas only work when being infused with a bit of chaos, a bit of “unforeseeable”. This lack of chaotic inspiration and walking off beaten paths can surely not be said for Australian band SEIMS.
Although one has to note that this release is basically “only” a collection of the previous records 3 and 3.1 but in this case this really makes sense as both records share the idea of using the color code as a basis for their journey from “Cyan” to “Imperfect Black” to “Absolute Black” and finally to “Clarity”. One may argue that the songs only on a very abstract basis have got something to do with the colors but hey – does that matter, if you have this beast of a record on your headphones?
Originally SEIMS was the idea of Sidney-based multi-instrumentalist Simeon Bartholomew but calling a project with 16 (!) contributors a one-man-project seems a bit far-fetched. This band might be the reason why math-rock is exciting again because the way that they incorporate so many other genres is a real edge-bender. One basically gets every musical genre of the last 100 years – from swing and jazz to punk and hardcore and even some metal aspects. Sometimes even a notion of electronic-based music is interwoven in this mix. Noise is here not an idea but more a foundation because often the instruments are (willingly) over-steering so much that they become part of a frenzy, just listen to the end of “Absolute Black”. Punk is partially and attitude when you remember that the instrumentation also includes strings and a horn section; on the other side it is also an attitude in the FTW-sense, and here “Clarity” is definitely a go-to-track. Interesting is also the use of vocals because most tracks are completely instrumental and therefore the few vocals are even more surprising.
Knowing that this revolutionary band and record will be too much for many people to take in is a shame, because even if you only got one open ear for music from far out, this will end up high on your list. 3+3.1 is somewhere between Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Battles and Ramper, Miles Davis, John Zorn and Mars Volta and yet it is totally unique in a sense that you will probably not find any band that comes close to SEIMS.