+\- (plus\minus) - +\- (plus\minus)
Record Label: Moon Records
Release Date: May 7th, 2008
+\- is a mathcore/metal band from Kiev, Ukraine, that formed in 2005. In the fashion of other mathcore/hardcore bands like The Dillinger Escape Plan and The Number Twelve Looks Like You, +\- plays with a style that is both frantic and orchestrated, primarily utilizing heavier elements of metal and grind, while mixing in a few sporadic moments of melody that keep listeners on their toes.
They have garnered a large fan base in the Ukrainian and became the first Ukrainian band to reach one million Myspace hits from around the globe. After the success of this EP (especially "Animal," the only track with an English title), +\- spent an extensive time touring across Russia and the Ukraine, and later supported HORSE the Band on tour.
How is it?
The EP is pretty good. With only five tracks spanning ten minutes (which includes the ominous, minute long Intro with its sampling of some sort of political debate), this EP flies by. +\- packs a lot into the short time frame, however. The music never slows down, careening forward violently, carried by frantic drumming, spastic guitars, and guttural growls and shouts. Unfortunately, the production isn't that great (the production of the songs on their Myspace is a lot better), but the listener still gets a good feel for what +\- are about.
The EP definitely shows +\-’s tendency to experiment. It doesn’t all work, unfortunately (the clean vocals on "Ujti Navsegda," for example, fall rather flat). Usually, though, they do a good job with the varying approaches they take. "Net Bolshe Sil" has interludes of stripped down background music between the heavier parts that actually work very well on the short track. Finale "Ot Belogo k Chernomu" manages to have numerous approaches (Begin with a bang? Slow it down with some simple instrumentation and echoing vocals? Speed it up again? Get extra heavy with some stuttering guitars? Gang vocals? Check them all off.) without taking a misstep.
Overall, +\- (plus\minus)’s EP is a solid, short offering from a band with a promising future. I’m not sure how well their sound will translate into a full length, but I do know that I will be willing to give it a chance when it does drop.