Talk:Math rock

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Black Moth Super Rainbow[edit]

It seems kind of weird to put black moth super rainbow on this list. What they play is more of electro psych folk. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:43, 2 August 2011 (UTC)

Totally agreed. Was just listening to Slint, Pitchblend and Polvo, as well as Black Moth and Boards of Canada. There's no way that BMSR is closer to Polvo and Slint than BoC or Stereolab, which are definitely NOT mathrock. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:17, 22 December 2011 (UTC)

Jethro Tull??[edit]

Did Jethro Tull use mixed meters? I don't know the group's music well but have never associated them (like I do Rush) with complex or changing meters. Whoever made this edit, can you explain which Jethro Tull song(s) feature this? Badagnani 05:49, 14 September 2005 (UTC)

    • I didn't make that (or any edit on this page) but Jethro Tull definitely does some math rock. Check out Thick as a Brick. It is written as one continuous song (except for the break to flip the record) and uses tons of different time signatures. I'll leave it to everyone else as to whether this is truly "math rock" but I think it fits the minimum metric definition. 19:21, 28 October 2005 (UTC)

multiple points[edit]

i'd just like to point out that the purpose of this article is to explain the style of the music that was developed by a group of musicians in the 90s and were tagged with such a label. as is the same for grunge, emo, punk, whatever. the article shouldnt be about all and any bands that just "sound mathy." people should stop adding their friends bands or their own bands to the lists.

about sleepytime gorilla muesum: they definitely do have technical tendencies, but were not really cited or noted as a band essential to the development of the "genre." i suppose it's place now is well suited.

as for jehu, sound samples on amazon arent really an accurate depiction of ones sound. math rock isnt always about changing meters all the time, its about taking an odd meter and working within that, or throwing in subtle rhythmic flares. jehu fused great songwriting, with the mathy aesthetic, hence why they get tagged as such all the time, but nonetheless, a great fucking band.

about q and not u[edit]

i believe there was a number of interviews around the time their second album came out that they stated they were "tired of the screamy/math rock thing" to some extent. many reviewers noted their first album to have a mathy aesthetic (mainly the dual guitar interplay) like the early 90s dischord bands such as hoover and circus lupus. q and not u is not math rock, but was influenced by essential dc bands that got tagged with the unfortunate genre brand.

Share the knowledge[edit]

I added an internal link to List of works in irregular time signatures in the "See also" section at the bottom. Many of the existing samples there are from classical composers and metal bands. This does not convey the wide variety of bands experimenting with odd meters. Come on math rockers! Share the knowledge!

your band[edit]

(this was also added to the list talk page) please stop adding it to lists and the page. and your friends' bands too. it's annoying, and is also cramming up the page with just shameful self-promotion. just because you have one song that has one part in 5/4 doesn't make your band math rock. try "progressive screamo" -dpatrick

  • Please sign your posts. Thanks. Badagnani 02:50, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

correction needed[edit]

Polvo and Breadwinner aren't from the midwest; Polvo was from Chapel Hill (and really isn't math-rock) and Breadwinner was from Richmond, VA (and definitely is math-rock).

No Means No[edit]

I listened to every sample of No Means No on Amazon and found that, while the group's music is often highly syncopated, it was pretty much all in 4/4. Can the editor who added this group as a "secret influence" explain this further here? Badagnani 07:02, 6 March 2006 (UTC)

I didn't add it, but chances are you didn't get the right albums, the NoMeansNo article notes a change in styles. A few with notable math rock characteristics are Dance_of_the_Headless_Bourgeoisie, as well as other singles from that time period. Looking through the revision history for the NoMeansNo article, looks like that statement has been cited with various reviews from that period, but nothing credible. While I'm not sure that saying they are "the secret influence, perhaps origin" of math rock is good here, I do think they are notable influences. Maybe I can drum up a few citations, but maybe removing the secret influence part, and moving them to influences would be a good idea? I'll find some sources if I can. (edit: here is one of the aforementioned reviews: Nigtv (talk) 03:13, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

Brazilian bands[edit]

I feel strongly that the Brazilian bands should not be included as "math rock" groups as the term is restricted to heavy, complex U.S. and Japanese bands of the 1990s, originating during that time. The earlier Brazilian bands would fall under the complex wing of "prog" (progressive) music, associated with the RIO (Rock in Opposition) movement which was not restricted to South America, but which also included Europe and Japan. Badagnani 04:26, 6 April 2006 (UTC)


I don't think math rock derives from emo, because when math rock developed (mid-1990s) there was no such genre. Badagnani 23:25, 15 July 2006 (UTC)

Uhhhh, that's ridiculous. A lot of math rock derived from the San Diego emo sound (circa 1992), which in turn was derived from an original emo movement that centered in DC in the latish 80s. There are so many different pockets and subgenres of math rock that I'm assuming math rock came from all around. ~~Me —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:07, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

It depends on which branch of math rock you're talking about. I'm certain that most of the early, heavy bands were not enthusiasts or listeners of emo music at that time, although many were into some varieties of metal. Badagnani (talk) 05:10, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

Philo Beddow[edit]

Philo Beddow is a real band. I think I've seen them, and I think they had some mathiness to them. Badagnani 20:28, 22 July 2006 (UTC)

DAve Brubeck[edit]

Should his band be listed as an influence. Rich Farmbrough 14:23 12 August 2006 (GMT).

If an influence it's a distant one, and probably hasn't direcly affected most math rock musicians or bands except those with the widest listening habits. Brubeck drew on Turkish music for these "odd" meters but his style is much "smoother" than that of most math rock groups, whose aesthetic is very much the musical language of metal. Also, many math rock groups such as Craw utilize constantly changing meters, which isn't typical of Brubeck, who will typically, in the odd-meter tunes he's known for, select a meter of 5 and 7 and generally stay with it. That makes him more similar to some of the "progressive rock" groups that precede math rock. Badagnani 16:20, 12 August 2006 (UTC)

System Of A Down[edit]

I personally think System Of A Down should be math rock, because in their music, sometimes, its slow, sometimes its fast, and the tempo always changes with their music. Since they are hard to classify, I think Math Rock is the type of music SOAD plays. 04:44, 13 August 2006 (UTC)

Math rock involves changes in meter, not just tempo or beat. Math rock groups have as their paramount modus operandi the use of odd meters and changing meters. System of a Down, while having some "change-ups" in their music, can thus not be classified as a "math rock" group. Badagnani 04:46, 13 August 2006 (UTC)

Response to the text above: Yeah sure. Apparently you have no idea what math rock is; and if we want to follow your so called justification, Lady Gaga should be labeled as Death Metal, and Justin Beibier should be labeled as Epic Folk Metal.

SOAD is either Alternative Metal, with an influence of Nu Metal.

Tool reference[edit]

The newly added Tool reference seems to make sense, although I still have to listen to the track. Although they're not primarily a math rock group they do have some songs that are in math rock style. Thus, this mention seems to be well placed. Badagnani 20:09, 6 September 2006 (UTC)

I just listened to the song "The Grudge" on YouTube and it seems to be all in 10/4 with some 7/8 thrown in at the end. It definitely has a "math rock" sound, though with not as many meter changes as Craw or other math rock groups. Badagnani 22:07, 6 September 2006 (UTC)

The last couple Tool albums have a lot of unusual time signatures, but most Math Rock fans are indie rock snobs and would be very uncomfortable with your reference to such a mainstream band in this article. Math rock, unfortunately, is defined as much by a "scene" as it is by its musical qualities, and Tool is not part of that scene.--The Fat Man Who Never Came Back 01:28, 7 September 2006 (UTC)

The others have weighed in, and there are other editors who think Tool is a math rock band. This belief (though one which I believe to be incorrect) seems to be widespread. The addition of the information that they have showed math rock influence in that song (though they are not considered a math rock band), thus, seems justified. Badagnani 01:38, 3 December 2006 (UTC)

Tool and others[edit]

I believe that Tool is correct but most Math Rock fans would not agree. It should be kept. What about Maps And Atlases who had a big Guitar Player Magazine print article? They're definitely one of the strongest candidates for current/contemporary Math Rock bands who are gaining acclaim for the category. MrLiberty 04:27, 18 September 2006 (UTC)

Maps and Atlases? are you kidding? Fingertapping does not equal math rock, nor does some guitar player magazine. Anyone who can play Nintendo and has some musical ability/hand eye coordination could fingertap, especially in 4/4 as most of their music seems to be in. Their music is progressive emo at best, some wimpy/whiny indie stuff Pitchfork media would really be all about. "Math rock" , stylistically, isnt really about accessibility, whereas Maps and Atlases obviously are. Tool is not a "math rock" band in context of the genre and meeting most of the stylistic characterists. You must not forget the radio play, the NU METAL leanings, the kinship, etc. The rhythmic concept alone, that can obviously be seen as somewhat similar, but describing them in the same breath as a band like Breadwinner is really ridiculous. But the way it was written before, just in terms of rhythmic concepts, is okay by me. sphrrical 23:11 03 December 2006 (UTC)
That's the thing: the use of the term (following Wittgenstein) has changed since the early 1990s, from the brutal, METAL-influenced (and *not* NU-metal) ultra-complex music to the current fashion of meter-changing clean guitar nerdy grad student post-rock. That's just a reality and I think the article makes that clear. So there are two strands, the first being Craw/Dazzling Killmen/Zeni Geva/Ruins/Don Caballero/Yona-Kit/Colossamite/Keelhaul, and the second coming out of the Louisville and Chicago "clean-guitar" sound with changing meters (Slint and its offspring, Tortoise, etc.) That Tool song in question is similar in style to the earlier style of post rock. Badagnani 04:18, 4 December 2006 (UTC)


going from 3/4 to 4/4 to 6/8 to 5/4 is no more innovative than music that was composed as early as the late 15th century. What other elements qualify this as "Math" Rock? open discussion.....

I think Math Rock is more about being part of a very geeky, specific, exclusive indierock scene and less to do with the style, innovation and complexity of the music itself. Steve Albini is considered the godfather of this genre--and although his band creates some very interesting odd-time-signature grooves, a lot of Shellac's music is simple, bone-crushing 4/4 hard rock. So Math Rock is nothing more than a name some snarky scenester or zinester came up with to label a certain movement/community.
If it were really purely about crazy time signatures/polyrhythms etc., this article would have to include a lot of prog/extreme metal from the 90s and 00s, such as Gorguts, Cryptopsy and Meshuggah, not to mention later Tool, a band many hipsters find nauseating.--The Fat Man Who Never Came Back 16:07, 10 November 2006 (UTC)
Maybe true of the music going under this moniker now, but it wasn't the case originally. It was clearly the musical style; the term probably came first from the critics but was an apt description. Badagnani 21:08, 10 November 2006 (UTC)
Actually, a lot of prog bands have a tendency to stick to an odd time signature. Tool play lots of 7/8, and lots of 5/4, but really, they change time signature about three times a song. Having said that, you're right, there is more to it, math takes a lot more from hardcore than it does from prog, the de-emphasised, often non-melodic vocals are a good example of this. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2birds1stone (talkcontribs) 04:13, 17 October 2012 (UTC)


Is there any verifiable documentation for this article? It's a cool concept but it comes across a bit WP:NFT. 07:27, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

Actually it starts to seem pretty lame, compared to stuff being done by Conlon Nancarrow and others, 50+ years ago and more. 08:47, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
now you just sound like you just dont like the music, kind of POV to call it "lame" while questioning sources, dont you think? --—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Prog Rock[edit]

What's the official relation between math rock and progressive rock?? Khullah 03:44, 17 May 2007 (UTC)

In my understanding the genres are partly delineated from one another by decade of origin and by musical style (though they both share an interest in non-standard meters). Progressive (prog) rock, or art rock, originated in the 1970s and was influenced by classical music and more stylistically diverse in instrumentation, theme, lyrics, timbre, etc. The bands listed in the article include early King Crimson, Yes, Gentle Giant, Magma, plus maybe also Roxy Music, Pink Floyd, Jethro Tull, Rush, etc. Many of the musicians in these groups were classically trained and wanted to create a more complex and often "symphonic" style of rock music, often with literary or sci-fi/fantasy themes in the lyrics. This style is parodied in the scene from This is Spinal Tap where the band is emerging from cocoons. I don't think the compound meters used by these bands are the defining element of their style, as much as for math rock.
Math rock began in the 1990s as an offshoot of heavy metal and was almost always extremely heavy, distorted, crunchy, etc., with mainly odd, compound, or changing meters. In this regard, the aesthetic is totally different from that progressive rock. A somewhat later style that was also called "math rock" (Slint and the other Louisville bands are good examples) used mostly clean guitars and was less metal influenced. This seems to be the predominant style referred to by the term at present, as many of the original metal-influenced math rock bands are inactive.
I'm not sure what the connection is other than that one could say that some of the math rock bands may have listened to or been inspired by some of the progressive rock bands (especially Rush, I'd say, and, in the case of the Japanese bands, by Magma). I'm not sure if this helps. Badagnani 03:57, 17 May 2007 (UTC)

I agree mostly with you, but Planet X is very similar to your description of math rock, but they claim theirselfs as prog rock. Very unaesthetic songs. And even though Dream Theater is very often art rock indeed, they have this everchanging time signatures as a basic principle. Like, in some musics, the song is great, every thing sounds fine, and then, in a 6/8 fell, in the last bar they change to 5/8 just to break that same feel. It's a habit for them. Maybe it is a math rock thing in their style. :>) Khullah 04:07, 17 May 2007 (UTC)

I wish I knew more of the music of these groups. Can I find audio samples somewhere? From the early "heavy" math rock groups there is an immediately identifiable crunchy, extremely heavy, distorted metal sound that could be described as "unaesthetic." Dream Theater, from the songs I've heard, is more "symphonic" in aesthetic, with keyboards playing string sounds along with the metal sounds. The early math rock bands would never have this. If Dream Theater has ever-changing time signatures that would definitely be an affinity with math rock, though they wouldn't necessarily be described overall as part of that genre. Badagnani 04:14, 17 May 2007 (UTC)

Yeah. You can find in any net like napster, bit torrent, emule, kazaa, etc. DT is indeed more symphonic, but its complicated, because they try in each album to approach a different style. So you'll find songs that seems more pop, surf, new age, dark, mellow, etc. Try to download "The glass prison", "This dying soul", "In the name of God", "Panic atack" and even "The mirror". I think that, in that order, this is the most dark pieces of them. Just so that you can compare. Khullah 03:28, 19 May 2007 (UTC)

I listened to Planet X and there were some small sections that sounded exactly like the heavy style of math rock. But there were also a lot of keyboards and 4/4 sounds which don't agree with the math rock aesthetic. So it would be an example of a group that have some elements of math rock, but which isn't defined as that style. Tool is another case that has been discussed here. Badagnani 03:40, 19 May 2007 (UTC)

Cool. Wich one did you listen?? Khullah 15:05, 19 May 2007 (UTC)

The first one I listened to was the song that started playing on their MySpace page. But, strangely, it wasn't one of the 4 titles listed (the title for the song "Now playing" wasn't one of the 4 listed just below; I'm not sure how that happened). It started with an "N," I think. I just listened to MoonBabies and it is EXTREMELY mathy, in a slightly more prog way than groups like Craw or the Dazzling Killmen. Badagnani 17:09, 19 May 2007 (UTC)

Blind Idiot God[edit]

Is there a reason Blind Idiot God are not mentioned? I don't know which meters they used, but I am sure they are at least as much an early influence as NoMeansNo. Anon, 21:57, 18 May 2007 (UTC)

Don Cab POV[edit]

[...] successfully blends heavy noise rock sounds with avant-garde jazz influences and the fierce non-stop drumming of Damon Che, spellbinding guitars of Mike Banfield and Ian Williams and the fierce yet proportioned bass of Pat Morris.

Spell-binding? Should be edited for less fanboy sentiment. MKV 02:14, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

Yes. Badagnani 02:15, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

shall the Fibbonacis be considered math rock?[edit]

Weren't the Fibbonaci's early, perhaps seminal math rock? 07:46, 10 November 2007 (UTC)spope3

Badagani, stop with the original research[edit]

Good grief. One of the few reliable sources we have says: "Math Rock is a relation to post-rock, a better known indie-rock style that shares similar aesthetics. Where post-rock has distinct jazz influences, math rock is the opposite side of the same coin -- it's dense and complex, filled with difficult time signatures and intertwining phrases. Also, the style is a little more rockist than post-rock, since it's usually played by small, guitar-led bands." Also, the same reliable source lists Math Rock in the /Rock/Alternative/Indie-Rock/ directory. Whether you personally regard the genre as "indie rock" is wholly immaterial. The same source, by the way, doesn't say anything about "angularity". This article needs to be blown up, but I'm starting gradually. Stick to the sources.

Also, your last edit summary "Please use "discussion" for such a major change, thanks." is obnoxious and smacks of WP:OWN-ership. I don't need permission to remove poor, vague and unsourced wording. It's bad enough that you're edit warring, worse still that you're fighting to preserve horrible, encyclopedic writing. I'm trying to make modest improvements to the article, you seem to prefer it be left in its current sorry state. --The Fat Man Who Never Came Back (talk) 05:48, 26 December 2007 (UTC)

Removing "angular" instead of rewording was very wrong. Similarly, the removal of complexity, atypical rhythmic structures, dissonance, etc. makes no sense because these are defining characteristics of the genre. One either wishes to describe this genre in a factual, comprehensive way or one does not. Your aggressive blanking smacks of WP:POINT and pure spitefulness, something that is not part of the Wikipedian ethos. Badagnani (talk) 05:49, 26 December 2007 (UTC)
Please don't mistake irritation/exasperation for spite. I am actually trying to help. Any claims of "defining characteristics" ought to be sourced.--The Fat Man Who Never Came Back (talk) 06:00, 26 December 2007 (UTC)

This is a fairly rarefied subgenre so definitive sources of this type can be hard to come by. I will look through my back issues of "US Rocker," a magazine that covered this subgenre quite a bit in the mid-1990s, to see if anything can be found there. In most cases, the bands do not like to write about or define their style, leaving this to music critics (magazine, newspaper, Internet, 'zine, etc.), who are often not highly trained in music, so their descriptions and comparisons are necessarily often vague or difficult to interpret according to common musical practice. Music encyclopedias (though I believe they should) generally do not discuss the subgenre at all. Badagnani (talk) 07:32, 26 December 2007 (UTC)

Incorrect edit[edit]

This edit is inaccurate, and shows the editor to have little or no knowledge of the genre being discussed. This style of math rock is not "jazz-influenced"; "jazzy" was correct. The removal of other key stylistic description (softer-edged, melodic) is illogical and renders the meaning of the paragraph entirely incorrect. Badagnani (talk) 05:55, 26 December 2007 (UTC)

That post rock is "Jazz influenced" can be sourced. That's why I changed it. Once again, my expertise vis-a-vis yours is irrelevant if your claims cannot be verified.--The Fat Man Who Never Came Back (talk) 06:03, 26 December 2007 (UTC)
Note that the source says post rock "has distinct jazz influences." I personally think, by the way, the AMG is a crummy source, but it's more reliable than word from your mouth or mine. If you can help me find a better source, I'll replace the refs, and rewrite some of the language.--The Fat Man Who Never Came Back (talk) 06:03, 26 December 2007 (UTC)
I just did some googling and found a column in LA Weekly about Math Rock[1]. I'm going to look it over and see if it's useful. I think this might be a borderline blog, but at least it was published by a notable newspaper.--The Fat Man Who Never Came Back (talk) 06:09, 26 December 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for the input. What seems to have been meant in reference to the purtported "jazzy" element of math rock (this term usually being applied to the "lighter," less metal-influenced and more post-rock-oriented forms of math rock) appears to be a more syncopated, less "pounding" style of drumming, which includes a lot of light, fluid snare work that would be more closely associated with jazz drumming than with much hard rock or metal drumming. In this way, it can be seen that these critics' reference to a "jazzy" aesthetic is most likely referring to this portion of the rhythmic aspect, and not to any overt influence from the music of John Coltrane or any other contemporary jazz musician (although the members of such groups may be enthusiasts of such music). I agree that each claim of this sort requires investigation, but there are key stylistic criteria that help define the "heavier" form of what is called math rock, as well as the "lighter" form--which have in common their interest in compound and/or changing meter, but are often quite different in other aesthetic parameters. Badagnani (talk) 07:28, 26 December 2007 (UTC)


Is it accurate to say that post-rock is a subgenre of math rock? I think not. These are two separate genres. As a matter of fact, the author says: "A closely-related genre is post-rock, into which some of the same bands are classified; post-rock, however, tends to feature a "jazzier" drumming style." Closely related, not a subgenre. Besides, it's quite different! There's not more 'math' in post-rock than in, let's say, metal, to my mind. So, I'd propose to re-edit the box on the right. --K.

Well is a subset not closely related to its superset? While I agree with the fact that post-rock and math rock are two unique genres with many commonalities and neither is a parent genre for one another, your argument is a little poopy. Also, what is "jazzier" drumming. That's just some lame journalist's way of describing sparseness of softer attacks and dynamics. If it were jazzy it'd be improvised and maybe swung, right? Peace. --J. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:24, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

Math rock and post-rock came from the same Chicago noise-rock scene (and some related scenes), so there's a LOT of overlap between early math-rock and post-rock. Tortoise and Don Caballero both got both genre labels. Slint can be said to be the originator of post-rock and perhaps of math-rock, although the latter isn't as clear. In the end, the distinction got more obvious, as post-rock went the way of Tortoise, incorporating shoegaze elements and Slint dynamics. Math-rock went the way of Don Caballero, concentrating less on dynamics and texture and more on rhythm and dissonance. In the 21st century, with the 'second wave' of math rock, there shouldn't be any overlap anymore; compare Giraffes? Giraffes! and Tera Melos (math rock) to Sigur Rós and Mogwai. Just dropping some big names to make the difference clearer. Anyway, math rock is not a subset of post-rock or the other way around; they just had alot of overlap in its early years. The extra confusion is just because the genres weren't clearly defined back then yet. Cayafas (talk) 23:38, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
This comment leaves out all the "ultra-heavy" math rock groups. As the article states, they are an important, and quite different style of math rock. Badagnani (talk) 05:18, 11 February 2009 (UTC)
Are they math rock? All the sources I can find categorize them as sludge metal. Only Craw has some sources saying that they're math rock, and if my memory serves me well they're more noise-rock than metal. Sorry for being so suspicious of your definition, but you're the only one I've heard proclaiming this. Cayafas (talk) 11:31, 11 February 2009 (UTC)

heavy metal[edit]

I'm curious to see how heavy metal is a stylistic origin for math-rock. I'm very comfortable with math rock and as far as I know, mathcore is what happened when 'mathrockiness' merged with metal (metalcore to be exact). I'm pretty sure metal isn't a stylistic origin of math rock; care to elaborate, badagnani? Cayafas (talk) 23:38, 10 February 2009 (UTC)

It certainly is for groups like Craw, Dazzling Killmen, Zeni Geva, Keelhaul, et al. I find it hard to believe one could listen to those groups and not hear that it's essentially metal with more jagged, uneven rhythms. Craw sounds much like Helmet, but with more rhythmic complexity. Badagnani (talk) 05:16, 11 February 2009 (UTC)
This is a sample video of Keelhaul. They're one of the remaining "ultra-heavy" math rock groups, and have the same drummer as Craw. As with Craw, it sounds something like metal, but with meters that change so quickly they can't be determined. This group plays very much in the style of Craw and the metal influence is very clear in the use of distortion, power chords, preference for half-step and tritone melodic motion, etc. Badagnani (talk) 05:33, 11 February 2009 (UTC)
You were the one who added the 'math rock' label to these bands in all cases except Craw. Can you show that the label 'math rock' is used for these bands? Not saying that they aren't per sé, just saying that if they are, there should at least one mention of it. AMG didn't help this time. Cayafas (talk) 11:26, 11 February 2009 (UTC)
A few more searches didn't help either. Couldn't find any reviews naming it math rock, either. labels were usually sludge metal or mathcore (I'm not claiming that labels are a good source, though!). Anyway, I'll probably be making some edits to this page soon, it is sorely in need of defining a clear difference between math- and post-rock - they much aren't alike anymore in the 21st century, I'm sure you'll agree! The jazzy difference doens't cut it anymore either, bands like Ahleuchatistas are distinctly mathy AND jazzy. I'll leave the metal-influenced things alone for now. Cayafas (talk) 11:53, 11 February 2009 (UTC)
How ironic, just noticed that Ahleuchatistas isn't labelled math rock either. I'll add the label later, found a few sources (popmatters amongst others). I understand how such a review can be difficult to find now, though :D Cayafas (talk) 12:01, 11 February 2009 (UTC)
Search again. Keelhaul, Craw, and all the others are described as "math rock" on many, many, many websites. You're also confusing terms; there are two broad styles of math rock, one of which is similar in sound to post-rock, with multiple "clean" guitars--it isn't post-rock, it just has a post-rock musical language, the way the early-to-mid-1990s "ultra-heavy" math rock used a musical language that was based in metal. Badagnani (talk) 17:09, 11 February 2009 (UTC)
I'm not confusing terms. Math rock has had clean guitars since Slint. Post-rock exists since slint. Both had their youthful years in the american midwest. And the sound of post-rock has evolved a lot; I wouldn't dare claim 65daysofstatic, This Will Destroy You, or any of the montreal-scene post-rock bands (GY!BE, Do Make Say Think, etc) have the same 'sound' as early post-rock a la Tortoise and Bark Psychosis. We need to stop defining math rock relative to post-rock and start defining it on its own terms, then make a reference to early overlap (slint, june of 44, rodan, DC) as additional information, not as the definition. You agree, no?
And I have searched quite a lot. Keelhaul, for example, I've found described as experimental metal, sludge metal, and math metal, but never as math rock. You're the one making the claim that they're math rock, please back it up!. I'm sure you'll have no problem if you've seen them described as such on many, many websites. Craw is the only one I could find decent sources for. And for the record, "ultra-heavy math rock" has no google results (so we shouldn't use that term) and 'heavy math rock' has this very talk page as the first result. Now I agree there is such a thing as heavier math rock, but it's usually related to noise rock and not to metal (or in a lesser degree to metal). Think Shellac, Rodan, Unwound. Their 'musical language' was rooted in noise rock, not in metal. Sorry for dropping so many names, but I hope they help you illustrate my point. I have no problem with listing Heavy Metal there if you can show me that it's correct! Cayafas (talk) 18:34, 11 February 2009 (UTC)
Search again. Maybe you're using "Ask Jeeves" or "AltaVista" instead of Google, which is the standard search engine for most Internet users, at least in the last few years. Regarding the heavier math rock bands, you don't seem to know much about this. The prominent groups would be Craw, Dazzling Killmen, Colossamite, et al. The groups you mention are tangential to math rock the way a group like Tool might be--not consistently "mathy" throughout their corpus. Do a bit more listening and research before making pronouncements about the "ultra-heavy" branch of math rock. Badagnani (talk) 18:54, 11 February 2009 (UTC)
Please stop using the term 'ultra-heavy'. Please stop making stupid accusations, I specifically mentioned google. Most importantly, please find some citations, heavy metal is YOUR claim, not mine. On a friendlier note, I've clarified the difference and similraities with post-rock in the article, in a way that's neutral towards the heavy metal claims. And claiming that bands like rodan and shellac are tangential to math rock is nonsense, especially shellac is one of the biggest names in math rock. It's steve albini for godsake. Cayafas (talk) 18:58, 11 February 2009 (UTC)
Please don't blindly revert an improvement because 'louisville isn't in the american midwest.' The main early post-rock scene was the chicago scene. Cayafas (talk) 19:06, 11 February 2009 (UTC)
Rodan and Shellac were tangential groups in the "ultra-heavy" school of math rock, as their output isn't consistently "mathy." The primary groups being Craw, Dazzling Killmen, Colossamite, and (a bit more toward the more "post-rock" sounding) Don Caballero. Zeni Geva is another important one, as well as Yona-Kit. It's important for you to do some more listening of these groups before making further pronouncements. Presumably you didn't see these groups live because you don't live in the U.S., or are too young to have heard them when they were active. You still haven't addressed the video I looked up, just for you. The more you examine the sound of these aforementioned groups, you will hear that they are using the musical language of metal (not "noise rock," which is chaotic and uncontrolled, unlike any of these groups--more representative of Boredoms or Melt-Banana, which are certainly not math rock, though their music may be very complex in its own way). Badagnani (talk) 19:09, 11 February 2009 (UTC)
I listened to the link you posted! Hell, I liked it :D And I understand that they use the structure of metal and at least parts of its sound. My concern isn't whether their music is complex in a mathy way, I can hear that. My concern if a more semantic one: is the label 'math rock' used for these bands, or are they classified differently? The taxonomy of music is an inexact science, and when confronted with claims about a something I know about, my default reaction is healthy scepticism, as it should be on wikipedia. I'll gladly admit that I'm far more comfortable with modern math rock, oxford scene derivations, and early noise rock and post-rock related math rock than I am with your metallic school of math rock. But if that school isn't classified as math rock generally, it shouldn't be in this article, even if they really should be classified as math rock due to their characteristics. Now I'm not saying that they aren't classified as math rock, I'm just asking for you to show me that they are! That's all! Cayafas (talk) 19:26, 11 February 2009 (UTC)
Yes, the label is used for this band and the others I mentioned, though due to the nature of rock criticism, there is some variation in the terms used, depending on the savviness of the writers. A Google search, which takes just a few seconds, will bear this out. It would be a very serious mistake to claim, not having heard or studied much of it, that the "ultra-heavy" math rock groups should be called something else. Craw would probably be the defining group for this style; their website, which has MP3s of all their songs, is currently offline but listen to this one, which represents their sound more or less. Badagnani (talk) 19:36, 11 February 2009 (UTC)
A few more audio samples found here and here. Track 4 here is a particularly good example. Badagnani (talk) 19:41, 11 February 2009 (UTC)
I'm not sure if you use the search engine Google, but here is an example of how to search using this search engine:
I'm quite familiar with Google. I see more google than my own desktop. My dog is named google.
[2] Craw with specific mention of noise rock: 21100 results.
[[3] Craw with specific mention of math rock: 1100 results. But I'll let the issue rest, I can hear that it's mathy even if I'm not convinced at all that this category of bands is most commonly labelled 'math rock'. We should concentrate on making this long-winded, 90's-focused mess of an article into something more worthy :D Cayafas (talk) 20:15, 11 February 2009 (UTC)
Noise rock is usually rather chaotic in sound, whereas Craw's output is usually highly controlled, with all the instruments playing right together (there are a few songs that have "controlled chaos" or "improv" sections, but not many). The vocals sound a bit off-kilter but if you listen carefully they are coordinated with the instruments as well, as particularly in track 4. This would not ally them, in my opinion, with Melt-Banana or Boredoms who may use distorted guitars and power chords, but the music uses more free rhythm and rarely gels into a cohesive rhythmic section; and when it does, it usually doesn't last long, frustrating an audience that is looking for or expecting such. The focus on the '90s heavy groups is important because they were some of the first, and with the change of aesthetics among the younger bands, the style didn't continue (except with Keelhaul and a handful of other groups). Most of the groups today are using the "clean" sounds, much more influenced by Steve Reich, King Crimson, and minimalist music. I think Don Caballero would be a transitional group between the two styles. Badagnani (talk) 20:39, 11 February 2009 (UTC)
Colossamite's power chord-based math rock can be heard here. Badagnani (talk) 20:45, 11 February 2009 (UTC)
All right all right, you've convinced me that your taxonomy makes more musical sense, even if I'm not convinced that it's the most common one. As an enthousiastic listener of post-rock and progressive rock, I easily got into the post-rock related early sounds and modern math rock, but apparently missed out on these. As do plenty of math rock listeners I'm aware of, but alas, I'll let it that rest. Do you have suggestions for making the article more accessible? The elaborate description of every scene is nice information but I feel that there should be more place for the evolution of the genre itself and its modern wing. And there's a lot of information we just threw at eachother that's better off in the main article! But first I'm going to throw the comment about tool out of this article. Just using various time-signatures does not make a progressive metal outfit a math rock band :D Cayafas (talk) 21:42, 11 February 2009 (UTC)
There is such a thing as tech metal (perhaps Meshuggah falls into this category, but it's different in sound from the harder-edged math rock. The broad definition in the article should encompass both the harder-edged (metal "language") and more clean-sounding (post-rock "language"), but only encompass bands that *usually* or *always* play using compound or changing meters, stop-start, etc. The fact that the term has been used to describe two distinct styles or aesthetics (with Don Caballero falling somewhere in between), and showing cross-influences, shouldn't be difficult, and in fact the article already does this, but with so many contributors, each of whom is sure that their interpretation is the right one, the article has gotten somewhat sidetracked. Badagnani (talk) 22:53, 11 February 2009 (UTC)


Have any math rock bands experimented with different tuning systems, i.e. microtonality? I find it hard to believe they would limit math orientated exploration of new sounds merely to time signatures. -- (talk) 02:37, 13 March 2009 (UTC)

Good question; few rock bands have done this, though Brad and Jon Catler have experimented with microtonal rock. Glenn Branca used microtonality in his guitar symphonies but his beats are usually very four-square. Badagnani (talk) 00:22, 14 March 2009 (UTC)

Pink Floyd[edit]

While I haven't listened to their entire work, looking through samples of different periods, I'm starting to think that citing them as an early influence is too much of a jump. I'm not saying that they didn't embody future elements of math rock (although it is my opinion), I don't understand how they are an early influence. Can someone elaborate on that a little, or maybe provide a citation for them being an 'early influence'? Nigtv (talk) 10:43, 15 July 2009 (UTC)

Money (song) is partly in 7/4, that's part of it.Synchronism (talk) 10:47, 15 July 2009 (UTC)

It seems to me from most of the other talk on this page that having one song that's partially in a non-standard time doesn't make it a math rock song, nor the artist a math rock artist. Take Five is a good example of this, even the name is a hint at the play on standard structures, but I think that others would agree that this probably isn't a notable influence on math rock. There are popular songs that are noted for having non-standard meters, and they certainly aren't all math rock songs. No insult meant to Pink Floyd, they may have had far reaching influences, but I really do think that this one is a stretch. Also, I wanted to add, in regards to Money (Pink Floyd song), it appears that song was actually written originally entirely in 7/4 (or 7/8, seems to be disputed), with the change in meters being primarily a non-compositional move, making it easier for Gilmour to play, not because of the structure of the song, but because of an experimental recording technique (which is detailed in the article). Nigtv (talk) 02:33, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

Yeah, I'm not here to defend Pink Floyd's status as a contributor to the genre. That should probably be sourced. So don't let me stop you from removing it, if you're unconvinced. I would call Money a well-known earlier piece of rock that experimented with complex meter. The choice to write a song in seven was thematic, seven being a lucky number. Don't really understand how it could have been conceived in 7/8 though, (perhaps 2+2+3), he must have misspoke. Predominantly in four, like its title track, much of Wish You Were Here (album) is in three, as is Have a Cigar with some bars of two thrown in. They aren't beholden to common time, but I wouldn't classify that as experimenting with metrical complexity in a highly systematic way.
I can picture Pink Floyd influencing artists whose work is described as math rock, but sources are where it's at for something like this.Synchronism (talk) 04:39, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
Like the band Rush (band), which uses unusual meters but predates math rock, Pink Floyd's music can be considered progressive rock, but not math rock. Perhaps that single song could be considered an antecedent to math rock. Badagnani (talk) 05:18, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
Above, I meant to say most of Shine On You Crazy Diamond is in three. Have A Cigar is in four—I listened to it again after reading what I wrote—but it still has a couple oddly metered passages, that appear to be in five.Synchronism (talk) 22:31, 30 July 2009 (UTC)

I'm going to leave it there for now, maybe remove it in the future, but I'd rather not just focus on one artist in that paragraph. This article could really use some filtering to get rid of all of the "progressive rock" and "math rock" mixing, but that isn't going to be cured by getting rid of one reference. So, as far as I can tell, it's agreed that it's okay to be removed? Probably good to get it on the record if this article is ever going to get up-to-snuff Nigtv (talk) 09:06, 31 July 2009 (UTC)

the song bike from piper at the gates of dawn goes through about three or four time signatures, i forget specifically which ones though....--Violarulez (talk) 00:28, 14 December 2009 (UTC)

Japanese group "he"[edit]

I removed he from the listing of Japanese groups because he links to the pronoun "he" rather than to a band's page. It is impossible for me to ascertain whether there is really a Japanese math rock group called "he" because their name is such a common English word. If anyone wants to re-add this band to the list, they are going to find the evidence themselves. --Metropolitan90 (talk) 19:45, 20 December 2009 (UTC)

Well, it does seem to be a band, but any information other than the page on the band "he" is pretty minimal. Looking through the page, it appears that we have another case of someone adding their local band to the list, which has happened a lot. Someone else could prove me wrong though. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Nigtv (talkcontribs) 07:53, 13 January 2010 (UTC)

Japan actually does have > 1 city[edit]

Where in Japan? If you can mention individual cities in the United States, why can’t you mention individual cities in Japan?

(re: Cultural Origins)

It has relevance to know where in Japan math rock has origins; if not, why would it be relevant to know where in America it has origins? Hmm?

You see, this is one of the (many) problems with you Americans. You think that the entire rest of the world is just one homogenous mass. You think each country has one city.

It’s like that recent ad on a PBS station out of Buffalo, some law office or something, and he says:

 “...serving Western New York and Canada ...”

And Canada? Canada?? Mister, Canada is 9 million square kilometres. If the only part of the U.S. that you serve is western New York, I’m pretty sure that you do not also serve the entire 9 million square km of the 2nd biggest country in the world.

If the U.S. has states and cities, doesn’t it dawn on you that other countries also have states and cities? Hmm?
--Atikokan (talk) 01:41, 16 October 2011 (UTC)

"you americans", lol. nice xenophobia. The bands mentioned in the article are from Osaka and Tokyo but in my opinion have 0 to do with what is known as "math rock" currently. (talk) 01:31, 16 January 2013 (UTC)

original research?[edit]

This whole article seems very original research-y to me. The references provided cover specific artists but not the concept of "Math rock". How widely used is this term outside of this article?--RadioFan (talk) 16:23, 1 December 2012 (UTC)

the name is used and has been for years. I am not a fan but I can vouch for it existing in the minds of recent generations who need to micro-genre-ize every damn band into their own unique style. The Japanese section is ridiculous none of that is "math rock" even by the definitions presented here (talk) 01:08, 16 January 2013 (UTC)

Math rock journalism/sources[edit]

There are a few online magazines which regularly cover the math rock genre: Musical Mathematics, SPREAD, and Fecking Bahamas. Fecking Bahamas, in particular, is exclusively devoted to math rock and has an online map which lists math rock bands across the world (may help as a source with other discussions in the sections about international groups, I dunno). Is it worth mentioning these online zines in a new section, or even perhaps under 'Contemporary Math Rock'? I suspect these would be effective go-to places for enthusiastic readers of the article. Islandofcrete (talk) 14:45, 30 June 2014 (UTC)

This is really two separate issues: (1) do any of these magazines qualify as reliable sources, and (2) should we discuss them in the article itself.
  • Musical Mathematics is unreliable. No journalistic/editor/author credentials or backgrounds, nothing about editorial policies, a Gmail address for contact, and misspellings on their About page.
  • Spread is unreliable. Again, no information about editors or authors, and they're owned/run by a band management/PR/booking company.
  • Fecking Bahamas is unreliable. Again, no information about editors or authors. There's a link to become a contributor as well, which is rarely a good sign.
(2): only if the magazines themselves are discussed in reliable sources and explicitly associated with the genre. WP:UNDUE and WP:SYNTH come into play here. If we look for precedents in other articles, we find that our article on rock and roll makes no mention of Rolling Stone or any other magazines, our article on punk rock calls out specific magazines in a historical context and only when appropriately sourced, and our article on hip hop has a virtually unsourced section on media although a source is used when magazines are specifically named. Ultimately, nothing is going to stop someone from writing a section on media within the math rock genre, but I can almost guarantee that it will be removed unless appropriately sourced.
Obviously, just my $0.02. I'm interested in others' opinions. Woodroar (talk) 16:40, 30 June 2014 (UTC)


yeah, this kinda needs to mention Rush. Rush was as mathematically complicated as anyone else mentioned, probably more popular and also even the words "drummer sticks out more than the rest of the band" demands that Neal Peart is mentioned. Who of you reading this remembers the guy who isn't him or Geddy Lee? (talk) 01:47, 8 June 2015 (UTC)

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