Houston Calling

Review: The Black Math Experiment, Last Transmissions From The Blue Room

November 6th, 2006 · No Comments

The Black Math Experiment
Last Transmissions From The Blue Room

To know The Black Math Experiment’s music is to love The Black Math Experiment’s music. While it’s tough to listen to the band without playing “name that ’80s influence”–think The B-52’s crossed with Berlin, The Dead Milkmen, and Talking Heads, with the occasional hair metal riff thrown in for good measure–their sound maintains a uniqueness and humor that keeps it fresh. It’s an odd combination, to be sure, but The Black Math Experiment are an odd band. Seriously, who else could make a line like “This is a square, it’s a four-sided shape / And in the middle of that is a circle / And in the middle of the circle is a triangle / And in the middle of that is the power of God” (from “Ology”) not only sound cool but also make you want to sing along?

Therein lies the band’s appeal. While an underlying sense of tongue-in-cheek humor runs throughout all of the band’s songs (remember, they penned the quirky “You Cannot Kill David Arquette”), they throw in enough gems on their second full-length to keep the album from coming off as a mere novelty. “Evil Wizard Jesus” tells the story of an Texas-born outlaw (“the man with haloed hand grenades”) abducted by vultures as a child that grows up to rob banks and essentially bring about Armegeddon. “Ohio” and “Steps” showcase metal-guitar hooks, the band’s trademark synthesizers and Jef Rouner and Christi Lain’s ever-present tag-team vocals–probably the best introduction to the vast range of the band’s styles.

“Ruler Of The Trance Robots (A Remix),” a trance version of a song from their debut, however, is a study in technoed-out ridiculousness. It’s nowhere nearly as listenable as the original version, which allows the listener to focus on Lain’s sultry vocals instead of beats and blips. Despite this hiccup, The Black Math Experiment continues to draw on a variety of pop culture and ironic influences, and Last Transmissions… seems a natural progression for the band.

The Black Math Experiment hosts a CD release show at Fitzgerald’s this Saturday, November 11, with Asmodeus X and Osirus. More information on the band can be found at the band’s website and on MySpace.

Tags: Music

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