Like a lot of avant-garde music lovers, my interest in its various forms evolved from a boredom with conventional rock and roll. In the early 1990s, I was hosting a community radio program and writing for a couple of publications. It meant that most weeks included at least one interview with a local or touring alt-rock artist. In retrospect, burnout was practically guaranteed.
Luckily, that same radio station was turning me onto a range of electronic, new classical and jazz music.
Since returning to music journalism, it’s been a pleasant surprise to see how much experimentation is happening in rock. SEIMS – a one-man-act-turned-band out of Sydney, Australia – is a leading example of a subgenre called math rock.
Simeon Bartholomew got things rolling with a self-titled debut in 2012. SEIMS II followed three years later. By that time the band had formed.
The music can be fairly classified as post-rock. What separates math rock from other similar forms is its complexity and frequent hard stops and starts. One of the new tracks is recorded in 7/4 time. Think of it as new music for Robert Fripp fans.
SEIMS 3.1 is a follow-up to the band’s well-received third disc. Thematically, the EP’s song titles “Absolute Black,” “Translucence” and “Clarity” picks up where SEIMS 3 left off with CMYK. It is richly detailed and impressively performed.
If all of this piques your curiosity, the release is on a terrific label called Art As Catharsis. That is as good a place as any to learn more about the post-rock world.