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Look Mexico – To Bed to Battle (2010)

March 20, 2010

Maybe a good friend is like a great story / you can pick up right where you left off

Look Mexico could have gone the route of churning out even more of the unremarkable Kinsella “influenced” (ripoff) pap that we’ve all heard way too much of, but instead they’ve been straddling the line between math rock, emo and ‘indie rock’ (so, admittedly, exploring all the same territory) with an originality that I can’t quite put my finger on; maybe it’s the fact that all their song titles are Vin Diesel quotes (seriously). Regardless, in the past year I’ve found this unassuming group of dudes from Tallahassee quickly becoming one of my favorite bands.

Without sounding overly fanboyish, To Bed to Battle is absolutely my favorite album of 2010 so far. The band’s debut on Suburban Home Records takes all the best elements of their first record, This is Animal Music, and blends them in with a wider array of influences and a more polished, confident sound. Matt Agrella’s vocals have improved tenfold in the past few years; he’s learned to control them and make them his own, rather than attempting ranges that he can’t really reach. Where before he may have sounded painfully amateur at times, he now sings with a steady assurance of his own skills. The guitars are more prominent in this record, and their twinkly power is never more clear than on “Until the Lights Burn Out?”, where they dominate the second half of the song. Throughout the whole album, guitar and bass swoon in and out of one another, and the drums pinch and snap with an understated forcefulness.

On that note, it’s worth mentioning that despite what a lot of the press is saying, this is a math rock album. Granted, there’s a dreamy haze over everything, and for the most part these songs don’t sound as pointed and angular as math rock usually does. But that’s what Look Mexico does; they take a sound that should be predictable and turn it into something that only they’ve put a claim to. The Kinsella-worship and math rock camps are both fairly self-contained, and pretty much stay that way. But this album shows that Look Mexico has some serious crossover potential, perhaps even into a mainstream audience. We can only hope.

  1. You Stay. I Go. No Following.
  2. No Wonder I’m Still Awake
  3. Take it Upstairs, Einstein*
  4. I Live My Live a Quarter Mile at a Time
  5. Until the Lights Burn Out?*
  6. They Offered Me a Deal (I Said No, Naturally)
  7. Get in There, Brother!*
  8. They Only Take the Backroads*
  9. Time for You to Go Do Your Own Thing
  10. Just Like Old Times*

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Previous Posts:

This is Animal Music (2007)

From → Albums

2 Comments
  1. thanks twee, look mexico is my jam, didn’t realize they had a new album out.

  2. bro permalink

    I knew the first track was from Iron Giant, but not that all the tracks were Vin Diesel quotes.

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