10 Songs, 24 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

The perky Math and Physics Club became favorites with the indie- pop crowd after releasing their year-end-list-topping debut back in 2006, with one reviewer calling them “unrelentingly pleasant.” While that could be a lethally cheeky description in some cases, with MAPC it is not; it’s merely accurate (and slightly flip). Their sophomore release, I Shouldn’t Look As Good As I Do Now, shows the band following their light and lilting, Brit-flavored pop muse, and one can’t help but think of MAPC as the Smiths’ younger sibling with each stroke of James Werle’s jangly guitar. But the band turns up a few surprises that are wholly their own, like the funny, banjo- and accordion-driven “Everybody Loves a Showtune” and the equally amusing pop-rocker “We’re So DIY!” Listening to MAPC is a source of relentless pleasure, it’s true, but not in a sugar-coma kind of way. Rather, it’s the attention to detail, the bulls-eye targeted lyrics, and the smart arrangements (the chorus on “Love or Loneliness,” and the rainy-day vibe of “The Internationale” are perfection) that make this Seattle band so sublime.

EDITORS’ NOTES

The perky Math and Physics Club became favorites with the indie- pop crowd after releasing their year-end-list-topping debut back in 2006, with one reviewer calling them “unrelentingly pleasant.” While that could be a lethally cheeky description in some cases, with MAPC it is not; it’s merely accurate (and slightly flip). Their sophomore release, I Shouldn’t Look As Good As I Do Now, shows the band following their light and lilting, Brit-flavored pop muse, and one can’t help but think of MAPC as the Smiths’ younger sibling with each stroke of James Werle’s jangly guitar. But the band turns up a few surprises that are wholly their own, like the funny, banjo- and accordion-driven “Everybody Loves a Showtune” and the equally amusing pop-rocker “We’re So DIY!” Listening to MAPC is a source of relentless pleasure, it’s true, but not in a sugar-coma kind of way. Rather, it’s the attention to detail, the bulls-eye targeted lyrics, and the smart arrangements (the chorus on “Love or Loneliness,” and the rainy-day vibe of “The Internationale” are perfection) that make this Seattle band so sublime.

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Ratings and Reviews

4.9 out of 5
7 Ratings

7 Ratings

fstbac ,

They Shouldn

After a hiatus that saw the band only release a song over the past few years MAPC has returned. While the signature hooks and lyrical prowess are still apparent- 15 seconds into "Jimmy Had a Polaroid" it is clear that this album is far from a warm up lap, and that MAPC has not lost a step. "Everybody Loves a Showtune" finds the band utilizing new instrumentation and a waltzing melody to present the story of a nobody wallflower seizing the moment and taking to the stage. "The Internationale" and "We're So DIY" find the band examining the indie scene, not as outsiders but wary observers of a culture that has become more about "who" you are than "what" you are actually doing. The album's centerpiece is "I've Been that Boy" which finds lead singer Charles Bert, acoustic guitar in hand singing what this reviewer believes to be his most personal song. This humble ditty finds a love chased, relinquished by circumstance and celebrated years later.
Math and Physics Club is a band of musicians who clearly love music and the craft of making it. Their album is one to be enjoyed and not necessarily compared. While their back catalog is strong, in particular the stellar track "White and Gray", this is the band at its finest and an album not to be missed.

toohsieh ,

I know Belle & Sebastian haven't written an album in a while, but ...

... hot damn, Math and Physics Club! This is the first album I've heard of theirs, and I'm definitely getting that Belle & Sebastian vibe, though that's definitely not a bad thing. And of course, it's not like M&PC (not the best band name, but whatever) is totally imitative of B&S' style, though I guess that's what iTunes preview is for.

In any case, what I'm trying to say is that M&PC is pretty sweet, and it does wonders as either happy-go-lucky everyday music or music that you take a break to after you get off of work, possibly with a nice book--though the lyrics might be catchy enough for you to not pay attention to your reading. M&PC's pretty chill and definitely rolls with the flow. Check 'em out.

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