On my chart of “jam albums” I didn’t just make up (I totally did, but it should be useful here on out), this tops it. Pretend is an enigmatic self proclaimed band I still don’t know much about. A band that “share[s] a common passion for possibilities in music, playing together in some form since 2004”, since then releasing two full length albums and an EP. Bones In The Soil, Rust In The Oil is what initially got me hooked on them, back when I was a part of a community solely for the “math rock” music out there. I’ve since denoted that title to this band, same as the band did to themselves.
[Bones In The Soil, Rust In The Oil] Being a self titled release, was rough but the music was there. I can only imagine it was between the time of that release (2009) and Tapestry’d Life in 2015 is when Topshelf Records found them and took them on to record. [Tapestry’d Life] Is solemn. Ever so slightly heart wrenching. Looking at their website [http://pre-end.com/], the debut day (October 8th, 2015), they have a photo dated to the same day saying “MATH ROCK GO TO HELL”. Slightly silly, but as a serious topic for discussion is: it’s crippling to be put in a niche corner of the musical spectrum, and being labeled “math rock” has the power of doing that. Because, in saying that, you’re overlooking what everything the music has to offer. I’m guilty of saying that. But now I’m here to say the opposite.
Listen to this band if you enjoy rock. Math rock, sure. Post rock. Art rock. Chaotic rock. There’s an excerpt from Topshelf’s page for the album that really fits:
“Listen, if you’re here, you likely already know how truly wonderful this band and this album are. In case you don’t, though: you’re in for a treat. If you’re a fan of the chaotic but controlled builds of bands like Caspian or The World Is a Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid to Die, the technical proficiency of bands like toe or Pele and the evocative imagery and lyrical delivery of acts like Copeland and American Football, then this may be your new favorite album. Pretend is a band that effortlessly borrows all of these elements and builds off them to make something truly their own. We couldn’t be prouder to be working with them in releasing this album. Enjoy!”
They capture such a weirdly rare trait in creating soothing measures; clean vocals backing a chaotic mesh of guitars, bass, and drums. It’s inspiring, really. And at over an hour and nineteen minutes, there’s a lot to hear. So find some quality time to sit down and listen to this masterpiece.
And as a quick side note, their website also states some news saying: “circular ræsoning (2016) new 12″ EP coming soon..” so be on the lookout for that! I know I will be.