Thursday, March 15, 2012

Album Retrospective: Math the Band - Don't Worry

Album Rating: A+
I strongly implore you to introduce yourself to Math the Band by watching a couple of videos of their live performances. Look for performances of songs such as "Hang Out/Hang Ten", "Tour de Friends", or perhaps even a cover of Andrew W.K.'s "It's Time To Party". You've got this crazy looking dude flailing his hair all over the place while bludgenoning heavily distorted chords out of his guitar, and a girl dancing all over the place while either wailing on a floor tom or pounding her fists on a keyboard while singing into an old telephone reciever. And you may think to yourself, "this is absolutely absurd". Well yes, it is.

Math the Band is easily one of the strangest and goofiest acts I have ever had the pleasure of coming across. The duo of Kevin Steinhauser and Justine Mainville specialize in creating some of the quirkiest, most explosive type of poppy, bloopy, "old casio I found in my basement" kind of dance pop there is, accompanied by lyrical themes usually not covered by people of Steinhauser's age (that read like a narrative by a ten year old with ADHD with way too much caffeine in his system), such as magic eyes, cardboard fortresses, and how awesome the end of the world is gonna be. Throughout the duo's 25-minute sophomore album (it is difficult to tell how many "albums" the group actually has, but 2008's Banned the Math seems to be their debut by most sources), Don't Worry, you will probably experience a wide range of reactions, as a direct result of Don't Worry's spastic and impulsive quirkiness. But after giving the album a few listens, Don't Worry's true meaning will begin to reveal itself.

Everything that the album stands for is right there in the album title. Take nothing seriously. Be happy. Don't worry. Turn your apartment into a cardboard fortress. Just don't lose your magic eye. Through uplifting sentiments and tapping into the listener's inner desire for utter silliness, Math the Band has created the ultimate feel good album. Kevin Steinhauser and Justine Mainville are two psychological therapists that throw you parties while screaming at you, forcing you to just cheer up, crack a smile, act like a ten year old, and just fucking dance. Like a good Pixar movie, in listening to Don't Worry there is a certain carelessness that will momentarily make you forget all of the stresses of daily life, no matter how old you are. Nothing else in the world matters except for finding out where all the fucking horses are coming from.

Many will approach Don't Worry with cocked eyebrows, and possibly dismiss it as awkward or sounding too childish and immature. In this sense, the album's sentiments could apply to its own judgement. Why would you take an album that pleads for you to take nothing in life seriously seriously? The only sense that I personally take the album seriously in is that it is one of the most therapeutic listens I have ever experienced. No other music has ever had the ability to make me drop any worries that are on my mind and just smile in the way that Don't Worry has been able to. If there has ever been an album that I could confidently say has "changed my life", it would most definitely be this. Math the Band has created a foolproof nine-step treatment program guaranteed to relieve you of any symptoms of anxiety, depression, or anything bothering you. Don't Worry is album that will eventually save the world, one gong sample at a time.


01. Hang Out Hang Ten
02. Why Didn't You Get A Haircut?
03. Introducing the Magic Eye
04. The Adventures of Brian Townsend
05. Tour de Friends
06. Big Foot
07. Cardboard Room
08. Almost!
09. It's Gonna Be Awesome 

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