Mathletes - Mathletes
Record Label: Unsigned
Release Date: May 24, 2009
For a five track EP, this small, not relatively known band from Chicago sure know how to garner some attention. Their debut album (which is available free on their Myspace) was produced by Josh Cain from Motion City Soundtrack and Jordan Schmidt (who has done work for All Time Low, The Morning Light, and Sing It Loud), after all. And maybe it's a good thing that they get some recognition from people who matter, because this EP is, by definition, the best way to start a musical career.
Mathletes are most easily comparable to Motion City Soundtrack. With their upbeat moog/synth, catchy guitar riffs and Chris Hatem's rather unique (if not a bit nasally) voice and lyrics, they're not anything new, per se, in the powerpop genre. But they do a great job at making the genre not god-awfully boring. The whole EP is reminiscent of Motion City's Even If It Kills Me, with some more moog/synth and slightly darker lyrics. With some lyrics that aren't insanely creative ("I saw that look on your face as you walked away/I know, oh I know that you're all alone"), Mathletes does a good job at making them catchy. Singing along to the chorus, at the least, should come rather quickly. There are some gripes I have with Hatem's voice, but as long as you listen to them more, you'll begin to appreciate it.
For a band that hasn't been around too long, they've accomplished enough to make any band proud. Getting someone from a (more or less) big band producing some of their album, along with a big (more or less) producer on your first EP is something to take pride in. Their music is also something to take pride in. It's catchy, it's full of fun (and slightly dark) lyrics, and should surely get you singing along.