A few years ago, I was insanely excited by the promise of Marmozets, a then fresh and young band taking the mathrock world by storm. They were accomplishing that through a unique blend between the aforementioned high energy genre and pop punk, creating an aggressive and immensely dynamic hybrid. Since then, much water has gone under the bridge; the Marmozets signed to Roadrunner Records and, whatever your opinion on their most recent releases, moved away from their mathrock roots towards a more straightforward, immediately approachable track.
Which, obviously, is fine. But it’s not what I wanted. I still feel like there’s a space for more bands in the area between mathrock and pop punk, alongside Tiny Moving Parts for example. Luckily, it seems like I’m not the nly person who feels that way; Sketchshow feel the same. These Southhampton younglings deal in a high energy, high fusion version of mathrock that immediately echoes the promise of Marmozets. Their recently released EP, Patchwork, is an exploration of the giddy power of the blend between complex music and a decidedly punk mentality and approach.
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Leading single “Every Excuse” is, fittingly enough, your perfect introduction into what makes Sketchwork, well…work. Spoiler: it’s the bass guitar. All along the track, and the album as a whole, the bass guitar never really stops. The backing lines of the track are constantly in motion, playing beautiful games with the drums and the lead guitar. Its work is also on great display on “Carbon Copy”, one of the best track on the album. Of course, the rest of the band don’t leave the bass alone in the fight; the drums are the perfect companion to its fast moving ideas, creating a powerful groove section.
Naturally, the vocals are also important and there’s no lack of great hooks on the album. They’re a lot of what injects the pop influences in the album, carrying a sense of youthful verve and energy in their timbre and lyrics. At the end of the day, Sketchwork still have a long way to go down their genre. But right now, their Patchwork is an extremely promising foray into the power found in the fusion of mathrock and other genres. Most importantly, it’s incredibly fun, a perfect album to ferry you over spring into the summer. So hit play, bop along, take a ride. Sketchwork have something to show you.