Review - Components EP by mOck
It’s been almost two years since we’ve heard new music from Berlin’s crafty trio, mOck, and their latest release, Components, has proven the wait to be well worth our time.
Components is a mark of the great extent to which mOck has grown and matured since their s/t full-length, released in March of 2012. This time around, the band has given us a concise EP rife with patience, precision and delicate organization, sewing a rich musical fabric that showcases interweaving yet unified instrumentation and exemplary songwriting.
The EP begins with, “Poitou,” a song that initially recalls the opening track of 1999’s “Elephant,” by Pelé. The band then references an earlier point in math-rock history, cresting into a blissfully confusing dissonant groove reminiscent of the early 90’s Louisville scene, while still making clear that they’re familiar with Victor Villareal. However, mOck shows us that much has taken place since “Elephant,” “Spiderland,” and “Owls,” were new records. Indeed, Components embodies its title as well as “Poitou’s” refrain, “Concepts collide,” as the band pairs disparate musical species to breed a beast that’s truly unique. Throughout the EP’s four tracks, mOck runs the gamut of nods to seminal math-rock bands, while still drawing from modern jazz and 70s progressive rock (side note: in my mind, “math-rock,” is kind of a less douchey way of saying “post-“, or “neo-progressive rock”).
What this amounts to is a record that consciously exists under the math-rock umbrella, but also transcends and expands that tag in its lack of reliance on the genre’s common technical and tonal figures, while still displaying their ability to replicate them. In other words, mOck, while being impressive but far from showy, let’s the listener know that, sure, they can “do” math-rock, but that that is far from all of which they are capable, and in no way sets a boundary on the music they make.
In a genre where so often we are presented with reiterations of what has come before, mOck stands among a set of superior bands that offer something new, while still recognizing the work of their predecessors. mOck achieves the trying task of sounding familiar without sounding trite, as Components is much more than a recitation of what has come before. What makes mOck’s application of the work of their priors such a success is their ability to take what they’ve heard and expand upon it, developing those ideas to a further end, all in the short span of about 16 minutes. Though replete with the marks of its forbearers, Components recognizes what has come before, while still forging the path ahead. I look forward to seeing where it leads next.
Words by Maggie Toth | Staff Writer
Dig my review of mOck’s new EP, “Components,” for The Math Rock Blog.