I’m no expert in the genre but, when I have tried to access Math-Rock in the past, I’ve found it, by and large, pretty impenetrable. I’ve been to gigs that have been characterised by such an earnestness of intent from both band and audience that I’m left cold. The lack of humour and smiles, the excess of jazzy dirge and the absence of a lyric have me running back to the world of pop.
So, I confess, I wasn’t expecting to be writing about the new ‘Mutiny On The Bounty’ single and video on Sonic Breakfast. Yes, this is a site that maintains an open mind and isn’t constrained by genre but, all the same, this is a band for whom I have few reference points. “Groove infused, instrumental math-rock from Luxembourg for fans of Battles, Adebisi Shank, Polymath and That Fucking Tank”, says the press release that comes my way and I almost delete before giving a fair chance.
I’m glad that I didn’t delete though. The video for MKL JKSN is an absolute joy. This is Math-Rock with soul and humour; it’s got glamour, spark and dancefloor credibility. Let’s all jump aboard the Soul Tram..
The Soul Tram in this video is a direct spoof of Soul Train, an American musical variety television programme which aired in syndication from 1971 until 2006. In its 35-year history, the show primarily featured performances by R&B, soul, and hip hop artists, although funk, jazz, disco, and gospel artists also appeared.
I found myself wondering whilst watching this ‘Soul Tram’ clip whether it was actually something from the archives. The grey-haired avuncular uncle who presents could well now be under investigation for crimes more serious than his dancing. Was ‘Soul Tram’ actually a misguided European spin-off of ‘Soul Train’? Are the people featured within this video now regretting their moves as they wait in lists for replacement hips?
There’s definitely a lesson here for me. It might remain true that Mathrock will never become my genre of choice. But, when acts such as Mutiny On The Bounty are releasing tunes where the guitars become keyboards and knowing, nodding, head wagging earnestness becomes a full-on total body dancefloor wig-out, I concede that I might need to investigate more.