January – Vive

 Music has this weird property where it can feel very much like a living thing with its own pulse and energy about it that really brings the music in question together in a way that very few things can do in such a way, and people that approach their music with a conviction to bring that to a new level create something else entirely. It’s the realms of progressive, technical, and math rock/metal that I see this the most prevalent in by far, and it’s with math rock that I’m the least familiar with, but given the quality of January, I’m started to get a real itch for more.

I’m more well-known with technical metal, particularly the death metal variety, where you see all this crazy technicality mixed with vicious brutality to create an extremely unique sound that can easily be expanded upon in the right hands. My experience with math rock is very much the same, but simply remove the intensity and replace it with a very vibrant soundscape that feels very much alive even in its most mundane form, and January’s latest EP is a brilliant showcase of that. “Vive” is but a humble sample of four tracks that don’t even clock in over a 15-minute runtime, yet January manages to make the most of their second effort. It’s with this EP that we see this Thai act display a brand of math rock the likes of which has been done before, but given the instrumental nature of “Vive”, the listener is all but forced to lean back and simply let the pulsations of the music take you to a totally different place. And to say that January doesn’t succeed in doing this would be an absolute lie as “Vive” may not be the most compelling album ever put down, but it’s the craftsmanship and devotion to the cores of the style that allows January to really allow their sound to expand while simultaneously sticking to the central values of math rock to become a real embodiment of the style in a way.

I’ve always been amazed as to how seemingly random places around the world manage to produce bands of styles that I previously never really enjoyed beforehand like how Iran produced Azooma to give me my first proper display of technical death metal that I could really enjoy, and it’s Thailand that’s given me the first math rock band that I can really get behind in the form of January. This band is just starting out, but “Vive” promises even more delicious material if it’s anything to go off of.

LISTEN to “Vive” on Bandcamp here.

LIKE January on Facebook here.

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