If you have enjoyed the previous offerings of +/-, your mind should be at ease: Jumping the tracks is business as usual for these math-rock minded electronic musicians, as their grandiose songs spill over the brim in Jumping the tracks, their newest release.
I can’t think of any other adjective besides “expansive” to define their sound to both the newcomer and the uninitiated. It just takes a minute or so from the opening track, ‘Young once’, to know that both the earthly sounds of percussion and the windier swells of electronics meet effortlessly; a windswept red sand canyon at dusk is the imagery that comes to mind.
The fact that the band is made up of three multi instrumentalists helps to the diversity of sounds and ideas that you’ll find in Jumping the Tracks. Exhibit A would be ‘Toe the line’, mixing indie pop, twee pop and post punk influences deftly, coming across more as a subtle but strong cocktail than a peanut butter and chocolate frittata (which is actually much nicer than you’d except.)
Not everything by +/- is a strange buffet of genres. ‘The space between us’ is pretty straightforward 70s dream pop and ‘Running the distance’ is a gorgeous slice of post rock loveliness.
Without demeaning any of the other tracks in this release (I’m still listening to ‘Young once’ as I edit this), I do believe the finest moment of Jumping the tracks is the sweet ‘There goes my love’. How so? Well, it manages to show the influences of the band, it has a lot of heart and there’s this moment when the song strikes you with a swelling noise. I’m not sure if it’s an ebow or just a well controlled feedback (see Red House Painters’ ‘Trailways’ for more on this), but it elevates the song to a height Felix Baumgartner would be happy to jump from.
The stupidest argument against electronic music is “it’s just music made by pushing buttons.” Well, I pressed many buttons to write this and no way am I making justice to how good this album is. Electronic music is more than pushing buttons; it’s a series of tools that you use to make music and the art resides on how well you use said tools. +/- certainly are showing their experience here.
Words: Sam J. Valdés López