Rejoice, brothers and sisters. Instrumental math rock fruit cakes Space Blood have been discovering themselves in the studio again.
You should be familiar with Space Blood; the band having previously featured on these pages (including a special Christmas message recorded last year.) But if you’re out of the loop, Space Blood are a theatrical two-piece math rock outfit from the mean streets of Chicago. Their live shows are a hilarious spectacle, with both members wearing creepy masks on stage (whilst drummer William wears not much else…) and performing surreal patter in between songs. They’ve got the tunes too, and last year saw the release of their trippy, four track math-rock epic ‘There Will Be…‘ EP.
Last week saw them release a split EP with the wonderfully named Hannibal Montana, a three-piece from the mean streets of…New York. The four track EP sees these two American bands join forces to complete their mission of pleasuring the ears of math rock enthusiasts around the world. On the reasoning behind the two coming together, Space Blood drummer William “I’ve been a fan of Hannibal Montana for some time and their guitarist Lucas Brode did a collaboration with Grant Weston, former drummer of NY jazz legends The Lounge Lizards, John Lurie, and Ornette Coleman, last year that really blew my socks off.
Space Blood played a gig with Lucas whilst on a solo tour in Chicago last August and the show went well and we all hit it off. Hannibal Montana had some new material they wanted to release and hit us up last fall about doing a split, and we were immediately on board. We recorded our track with Matt Frank of Their/They’re/There and Loose Lips Sink Ships, and during the process of completing the split we decided we liked working with different math rock bands this way”
Space Blood open up the EP with ‘Stop, Drop and Don’t Worry About It‘, which starts its life out as a ridiculously dancey number, before taking you on a riffy prog-infused journey. Shifting with ease. I still maintain that for all the whackiness and lolz that can be gained from Space Blood (and there are many – an incredibly funny pair of dudes), they still back it up as musicians.
The second track is handed over to their New York brethren. Heading into this, I wasn’t too familiar with Hannibal Montana, but with a name like that I’m with them 100%. This split is a great introduction to what these guys can do, and in ‘Gut-Wrenching Heartlessness vs. Heart-Wrenching Gutlessness‘ you’ve got yourself a powerful 8 minute math-rock saga, with some beautiful guitar sounds canoodling with splintering drums and a sweet bass sound. In some parts i’m getting Axes and during a particularly frantic section, i’m reminded of The Physics House Band. Good company to be in!
The package is completed with two remixes of the aforementioned tracks. Space Blood get the “Raccoon Acid Remix” treatment, a trancey drum and bass style mashup that sounds like it was recorded underwater. It sounds a lot like some of the “bonus” tracks on the FLESH CDs that they hand out at shows, which is no bad thing. Hannibal Montana on the other hand settle for a slowed down, chilled out, heartfelt piano driven remix from “kuxxan SUUM” I’m not normally one for remixes, but these are fun additions to two belting tracks.
As well as being available now for the dirt cheap sum of three American Dollars on Bandcamp, the split EP will also be released as a limited batch of hand-made cassette tapes through Little L Records. You can check out the EP in full below, and if you like what you hear, Space Blood will be back later in 2015 with more top secret collaboration works, as William teases “…we’ll be making a big announcement soon regarding some more splits we’ll be doing later this year, including working with some of our favourite UK math rock bands”