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Seims — 3+3.1
(Bird's Robe BRR, 2019/2020, CD / LP / DL)

by Jon Davis, Published 2021-03-15

3+3.1 Cover art

No, I don’t know where all these bands come from — you know, the ones you’ve never heard of that manage to record complex music with strings and brass and whatnot in a world where so many talented musicians can’t even make gas money to get to gigs. In any case, Seims is a band from Sydney, Australia, that has a (mostly) high-energy take on math- or post-rock that occasionally brings in extra players for a very big sound. The group is built around multi-instrumentalist Simeon Batholomew (bass, guitar, keyboards, programming, vocals), who is joined by Chris Allison (drums, vocals) and Natalya Bing (violin) — the band photos show four people, but I’m not sure who the fourth member is, as these three are the only players on all the tracks here. A considerable number of other musicians contribute viola, cello, trumpet, trombone, guitar, and vocals on varying tracks. If you’re looking for comparisons, imagine Battles with a bigger guitar sound and less synths, or an all-around more intense Tortoise. This release brings together two previous releases. 3 was a four-track EP from 2017, and 3.1 was a 2019 EP with a further three tracks. That’s a total of seven tracks for 46 minutes of music, and every minute of it is intense and beautiful. One thing about a lot of post-rock and math-rock is that it sacrifices melody to push rhythm and mood, but Seims manages to fill out the pieces with melodic interest to contrast the killer bass and drum parts and the sometimes messy guitars. I’d urge anyone who likes big sounding instrumental music to check out Seims. There is actually one track with lyrics, but the primary thrust is instrumental, and it’s outstanding.

Filed under: Archives, 2020 releases, 2019 recordings

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