If, like me, you've got to somehow cram a full week's work into three and half days this week, then you'll understand that long reviews of these fantastic singles might have to wait for another day. However, if you want to know what the best single to be released this year is, then look no further than the mighty Math and Physics Club who continue to lead the way in perfect pop with the hand-clap laden 'Long Drag' (Matinée Recordings). Recorded at the Dub Narcotic studios, 'Long Drag' sees Math and Physics Club in a confident, almost sassy mood. The band has come such a long way since that brittle, beautiful first ep, and it's a wonderful thing to behold. B-side 'Across the Paper' waves hello at the past, with its soft-shuffle, bluegrass-tinged strings and coy vocal. It's a quite wonderful little package of songs, and bodes well for the forthcoming album. --A Layer of Chips
In 2013 we’re too lazy to write much any more, too old and too cold as Darkthrone would have it, and sorely tempted just to repeat what we said before, indeed could say *every* time Math and Physics Club deign to extend their leisurely release schedule, namely "Math and Physics Club are BACK and they haven't lost it either" … but we had to add, wanted to add, that even given M&PC's past brilliance, "Long Drag" doesn't disappoint: it's *so* piquant, so - this word again - compact, with not a single crotchet wasted, that it ensnares you completely. The package oozes real cool too, what with being recorded at Dub Narcotic, and elegantly dressed by Tae Won Yu. Very different from the vibrant bass-grounded pound of their last 45, "Long Drag" begins instead with shuffling handclaps and rhythmic pulses, as a kind of bubblegum Violent Femmes, but soon opens up to reveal its true majesty and perfect pop lineage. And the themes are universal: it's a song about devotion, and it's a song (just like last night's crush, "Short Stories For Long Nights"!) about being saved by a song. Frankly, it's a song we'd cross oceans to savour. Look. Math and Physics Club would be fully entitled by now to get away with the odd duff record, if they wanted to - it would take more than that to dissuade us from our decision, many years back, to pledge our troth to them approx. forever and a day - but "Long Drag", happily, is far from that, being yet another expectation-raiser, yet another proof of the fulfilment of that early-days promise, yet another ode to the patient and gently nourishing approach that Matinée take to their artists. Both band and label remain the gift that keeps giving. Plus, lest we forget: "Math and Physics Club are BACK and they haven't lost it either". --In Love With These Times, In Spite Of These Times
I've been doing this ol' blog thing for a while now I've started to notice a few trends. One of those trends is that things tend to come in batches; first it was Bristol based bands, then it was the turn of the North-East of England, I then received a small gaggle of Scandinavian new music and now, well, now I splashing around in a gentle tidal wave of American bands playing beautiful indie-pop of various guises. The latest ripple on the water has been caused by Seattle's Math and Physics Club and what a ripple it is?! This is the band's first release in over 3 years but 'Long Drag' is well worth the wait and for those who don't already know the band, this is a great point to dive straight in. A punchy bassline, B52s guitars, crisp handclaps and a subdued vocal performance make for a wonderfully understated yet superbly poppy indie smash in the making. This has Teenage Fanclub or Belle & Sebastian written all over it but with the added punch that the Americans seem to be able to give this kind of music, a la Pavement or Grandaddy. Not only that, you can get this slice of aural beauty on a coke bottle green 7" for just $5. You'd be a fool not to! --Listen With Monger
Santa Barbara’s Matinée Records has a double feature of 7-inch singles for your summer listening pleasure. First up is Seattle’s very own Math and Physics Club returning with one of their more upbeat tunes in recent memory and a very eye-catching Tae Won Yu cover to boot. I think I like it when singer Charles Bert sounds a little pissed off. In fact I prefer it. Long Drag is still definitely indiepop, but it veers off the twee highway when Bert sings I’m not the one who shut you I’m not the one let you down. He sounds hurt, let down, and vengeful and he even swears! This is not the Math and Physics Club your parents knew and they are all the better for it! More like this please. --The Finest Kiss
I was good at three things at school. Art, PE and Music. I know what you’re thinking, not exactly going to be a city broker. But hey, who wants to be a city banker, right? I sort of liked being a (very straight-laced) bohemian. And I backed it up by being a deft hand at going to the snooker hall next door to the school, especially during French and Science, and at appearing to be listening while clearly not doing so. The very idea of a Math and Physics club would have been just about the worst thing I could have imagined, and would have surely coincided with me spending my lunch money once again on a packed of biscuits from down the road, and a couple of frames. If I had done my after-school job, I might have stretched to a cup of tea. However, the Math and Physics Club we are talking about here is just about as enjoyable as I could have imagined. The Seattle indie darlings have been away from our ears for the last three years, certainly in terms of releases, so it’s a welcome pleasure to have them back with a single ‘Long Drag/Across the Paper’ which comes out on the Matinée label later this month. It precedes the band’s forthcoming long player, ‘Our Hearts Beat Out Loud’, which follows later in the year. The A-side is pure indie-pop goodness, and has enough fragility, tunefulness, and most importantly hand-claps (you KNOW how much we love hand-claps, right) that makes it completely lovable, without ever being overly twee or whiny. The video is shot in that sepia driven faux 8mm way, and features, according to the press release, features multiple indie celebrities (we don’t know who they are). B-side is more a lament for love lost and features a more folky approach, with the added ukulele, mandarin and sweet harmonies that sugar coat this impending heartbreak. The 7 inch is out on coke-bottle green vinyl and is a limited run of 500 hand-numbered copies with the cover designed by artist Tae Won Yu. At this rate, my snooker cue is going to stay firmly in its case for the time being. --Backseat Mafia
Ahead of the release of new album 'Our Hearts Beat Out Loud', Seattle band Math and Physics Club release their first single for three years. Showing a certain amount of diversity, the two songs on this new 7" are quite different from each other. B-side 'Across The Paper' is based around a subtle ukulele and a vocal melody, although it wouldn't really fall into the folk category, it's a pop song all the way and sounds like a personal message to a lost (or maybe never found) love. With a plodding bass and twinkles of percussion, the track is kept fairly stripped-back and this suits it perfectly, putting the focus onto the lyrics and the tune as opposed to the arrangements. However sweet it may be, it doesn't quite match 'Long Drag' (as you'd maybe expect from an A-side...) which still remains reasonably bare compared to some indie/alt-rock tracks, but this is really a testament to the strength of the song; it doesn't need bells and whistles to make it interesting. Straddling the worlds of college-rock and classic guitar-pop, 'Long Drag' is thoroughly American in sound and the handclaps even touch on '60s girl groups, but maybe if they'd been covered by Pavement. It's a welcome return and bodes well for the new album. --Sounds XP
Twee, you used to be so innocent, so cute, the kind of music that, to misuse Rick James, you could take home to mother. Now you're all grown up, and taking long drags of god knows what. Where did we go wrong? In all seriousness, Math and Physics Club are a twee band that have grown up, to some extent. I first became a fan some eight years ago; their sound isn't so radically different but the b-side of their Matinee Records Long Drag 7-inch does feature mandolins and perhaps some ukelele if my ear's not telling me lies. I applaud a drummer who's willing to put down the sticks for a song and just lay back with some subtle shakers. This is, as the lyric suggests the perfect song for falling asleep to, a nap in a hammock in a breezy afternoon at the cottage, say. It's a terrific sound to be sure, but indie pop fans are also quite willing to stick with what works and the band delivers in spades on the 'classic' count with the title track. Jangly electric guitars with just a touch of bite, infectious claps, and a gently driving beat add up to a sweet seven inches of summer time confection. Six minutes of splendid indie pop. This is one habit you won't want to quit. --Left Hip
Math and Physics Club was a big fave of mine some years ago. Since then I’ve kind of lost touch with the band and also with indie pop in general. This has nothing do with the current quality of either of them. My interests have just drifted towards things like country, folk, R&B. Long Drag, the marvellous new single by Math and Physics Club is a welcome reminder that there’s still place in my heart for this lovely band. It’s an outtake from their upcoming album Our Hearts Beat Out Loud and it was released by the greatest indie pop label Matinée Recordings. This one below is Long Drag and it’s oh so good.
--One Chord To Another
La prima e quella che sinceramente mi ha esaltato più di tutte, è il ritorno del club di matematica e fisica. Ormai a tre anni da I Shouldn’t Look As Good As I Do con quel piccolo capolavoro di singolo che era Jimmy Has a Polaroid, il terzetto di Seattle se ne torna con un nuovo singolo che anticiperà il nuovo disco (!!!) Our Hearts Beat Out Loud previsto per fine anno. Long Drag (7″ limitato ordinabile qua) gioca sulla ritmica e sugli handclapping per un pezzo è che già diventato un piccolo classico. --Frigopop!
Sembra quasi che la Matinée Recordings voglia farsi perdonare il lungo periodo di silenzio discografico, facendo uscire una dopo l'altra incantevoli perle pop. Dopo i Bubblegum Lemonade di cui abbiamo parlato nei giorni scorsi ecco che adesso è il turno del nuovo 7" dei Math and Physics Club. E anche qui sono applausi a scena aperta, sorrisi e occhi che brillano dalla gioia. Il nuovo singolo, Long Drag anticipa "Our Hearts Beat Out Loud", l'imminente nuovo album della formazione di Seattle. Occhio perchè le copie sono solo 500 e numerate a mano, quindi il consiglio èdi volare letteralmente sul sito della Matinée per prenotare una copia. Il 7" uscirà ufficialmente il 30 luglio. Long Drag è un tripudio pop, solare, sostenuta e gioiosa, diventa immediatamente contagiosa con quel battito di mani, il basso saltellante e la chitarra che ti abbraccia. Non chiedetemi perchè ma mi sono venuti in mente i Bmx Bandits in una versione "esplosivamente super pop" (ancora più di quanto non lo siano a dire il vero! Ahahaha). La delicata B-side, Across The Paper, invece ha toni più tranquilli: un morbido ukelele dispensa calde armonie folk e ovviamente va a bussare direttamente alla porta del cuore. Due canzoni magnifiche. Poco da dire. --Troublezine
Dopo tre anni tornano a farsi vivi anche i Math and Physics Club, per ora solo con un nuovo singolo, ovviamente su Matinée, intitolato Long Drag. Invece l'album Our Hearts Beat Out Loud è previsto per l'autunno. La band di Seattle, che è sempre stata considerata tra gli eredi più limpidi e schietti dei Lucksmiths, ora sembra avere irrobustito il suono (complice forse aver lavorato ai Dub Narcotic Studio di Olympia?), e la canzone promette davvero bene. --Polaroid