SEIMS – SEIMS 3.1

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Like a lot of avant-garde music lovers, my interest in its various forms evolved from a boredom with conventional rock and roll. In the early 1990s, I was hosting a community radio program and writing for a couple of publications. It meant that most weeks included at least one interview with a local or touring alt-rock artist. In retrospect, burnout was practically guaranteed.

Luckily, that same radio station was turning me onto a range of electronic, new classical and jazz music.

Since returning to music journalism, it’s been a pleasant surprise to see how much experimentation is happening in rock. SEIMS – a one-man-act-turned-band out of Sydney, Australia – is a leading example of a subgenre called math rock.

Simeon Bartholomew got things rolling with a self-titled debut in 2012. SEIMS II followed three years later. By that time the band had formed.

The music can be fairly classified as post-rock. What separates math rock from other similar forms is its complexity and frequent hard stops and starts. One of the new tracks is recorded in 7/4 time. Think of it as new music for Robert Fripp fans.

SEIMS 3.1 is a follow-up to the band’s well-received third disc. Thematically, the EP’s song titles “Absolute Black,” “Translucence” and “Clarity” picks up where SEIMS 3 left off with CMYK. It is richly detailed and impressively performed.

If all of this piques your curiosity, the release is on a terrific label called Art As Catharsis. That is as good a place as any to learn more about the post-rock world.

Kevin Press


The Moderns, vols. 1 and 2, by Kevin Press are available exclusively from Amazon.

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