Beginning as a project between friends in the late Nineties, Math And Physics Club have gone on to release three albums. This collection pulls together EPs, B-sides, rarities and unreleased material for the decade period from 2005, which may well be showcased at a free show in Ballard, Seattle, on June 18th.
'Coastal California, 1985' introduces M&PC in breezy indie fashion, with the vocals of Charles Bert easily described as reserved. The unexceptional start is followed by much of a sameness; 'It Must Be Summer Somewhere' doing nothing to capture the spirit of warmer months, while the slower 'Our Own Ending' only serves to highlight the lack of enthusiasm in the music. Even the more jangly guitars on cuts such as 'Baby I'm Yours' are carried on unimaginative melodies that see the 16 songs regularly blend together - the most damning aspect of the album being that not a single track forces itself to be noticed from the monotony. Going back to the vocals of Bert, they perhaps best characterise this release - whilst there is certainly no need to shout or be over exuberant, you've got to sound interested in your own work for anyone else to be. The near-spoken drawl does not give way once and, like the soundtracks it is headlining, it has no appeal.
'Smalls Change (Meditations Upon Ageing)' arrives in April.
The two awards have made for a great 72nd birthday present for the country music icon.