steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Aspects of Physics

"Marginalized Information Forms Three: Other" CD


Genre: experimental rock, instrumental rock, post-rock

San Diego, CA

November 2009

It took me a long time to ease into the final instalment of Aspects of Physics' Marginalized Information Forms trilogy. Combining the programming work of Jason Soars and JFRE "robot" Coad with Rob Crow's distinct guitar lines and a whole bevy of percussive contributors, the band's output is a distinct set of highly-organized post-rock compositions, melodic and intricate in their way yet something that takes getting accustomed to.

Firstly, it took me awhile to figure out that this record needs to be played loud. If played at dim volume, these songs take on the appearance of bland background music; one needs to really feel the band's dynamics in order to appreciate them. You need to absorb the sound of the drums pumping and scattering, you need to become enveloped by the pleading synthesizers and mesmeric chord progressions of "Level 3."

But the second ingredient is a more passive one. Marginalized Information Forms takes patience. Like the band's former incarnation, Physics, this is a different sort of Rob Crow-associated project. This lacks the immediacy of his solo material, his work with Pinback, Heavy Vegetable, Thingy, or even The Ladies. Rob Crow isn't even the main conspirator - although his guitar lines are unmistakeable, it is the percussion and digital programming that forms the essential exoskeleton of these compositions. These are the elements that imbue "Unwindings Are Sound" with its vigor (though Crow provides essential melodic complexity), and its the percussive structure that allows "That Which Resists" to reach epic heights. Of course, this music wouldn't be complete without its lead guitarist (imagine the brilliant urgency of album-best "Psyklur" without its cascade of assured guitar chords), but the songs aren't completely powered by Crow's musical sense, as projects like Pinback and Heavy Vegetable have been.

Marginalized Information Forms number three is, admittedly, a difficult record to get into. The rhythms and melodies are there from the get-go, but they take awhile to absorb you. Yet despite all its repetition, and its preference for slow- rather than rapid-builds, this album is never cloying and consistently vibrant.

aspects of physics' myspace

From the last volume of Marginalized Information Forms: 

Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 10 tracks, distributed by the label, released 2009]