I don't know if you've ever taken the time to Google the origins of "math rock," but you're bound to learn that it's a genre that's easily misconstrued, or generally vague. A quick scan of the "Math Rock" and "List of Math Rock Groups" Wikipedia pages, and you'll find a sub-genre that runs the gauntlet of Steve Reich to Tool to Umphrey's McGee. While it may seem like a stretch, the "powers that Wiki" have chosen to codify Reich, Maynard James Keenan, and Brendan Bayliss as members of the same genre ilk. But to focus on such a notion is to go down an unnecessary rabbit hole. Back to the matter at hand.
In short, math rock is a wholly confusing musical classification as complex in its classification as it is in time signatures. Speaking from my own music listening history, Foals, Joan of Arc, and Battles were my initial forays into the genre. It is a genre of which I've developed a distinct pleasure for as well as a discernible envy of those who make the acutely cerebral music.
Such is the case with Sandra Bullets, Nashville's own math rock meets R&B outfit, who have been operating beneath the margins of Nashville's ever-burgeoning rock scene. Not to say Sandra Bullets opted to atrophy in a scene that saw both butt and scuzz rock rise to prominence, but rather, bide their time for when tastes widened in scope (I highly recommend their previous two releases: "Perico Bay" and "Loosest Goose"). Think of Sandra Bullets' approach to music releases as a sort of "game theory" in Nashville's music arena - it's strategic, ably navigating conflict and cooperation with said environs.
The latest single/visual release - "Tallboy" - from Sandra Bullets is yet another prodigious one. The song is unsurpassed in Nashville, as most math rock outfits elect to stay well within the general wading waters of the genre, while Sandra Bullets elects to dabble in the realms of post-punk (math rock cornerstone) and more importantly, R&B. I've harped at it a number of times, but R&B in Nashville leaves much to be wanted, but it is nice to experience the sultry glints of the genre through a less frenetic combination of Infinite House era Ava Luna melded with "The Leanover" by Life Without Buildings.
But as I've stated in the past, tonal comparisons are perilous proceedings in music writing, specifically with song premieres, but the initiative in doing so is done in earnest, in order to convey just how good the song itself is. "Tallboy" is a first-rate tune, one of which is relatively peerless in Nashville. That's to say, there are few math rock, R&B/post-rock dabbling outfits in Nashville, much less ones with songs as good as "Tallboy." Throw in the beautifully surrealist companion video, and there's no doubt in my mind that the EP set to follow - Lightweight - will be nothing short of the same.
Sandra Bullets is Tatiana Alvarez-Cianelli (vocals), Cotter Childs (guitar), Brian Wolf (guitar), Christian Baraks (bass), and David Nelson (drums).
"Tallboy" was engineered by Sam Bernhardt at Supra Records, mastered by Edsel Holden at Redact Studios.
The video for "Tallboy" was created by Jay Foster of Berry Hill Toonz.
Sandra Bullets will play local shows throughout the summer, as well releasing new visual content with the release of the EP.