Rooftops – A Forest Of Polarity Album Review

Rooftops are a clever little band. Their debut album, A Forest of Polarity, contains song titles all comprised of the same letters — a nice and quirkly little trick that fits well on the nice and quirky little album. Although it is not particularly original, the band does a nice job of mixing light-hearted guitar tones ala Minus the Bear with the math/proggy-rock of Maps And Atlases. The result is rather pleasing.

 

The band truly wears their influences on their sleeves. “Astray Life” sounds like it was taken right from Maps And Atlases’ latest album, a quick, guitar noodling affair that is almost over before it even starts. This tone carries over into “I Fast Early,” which draws more from the Minus the Bear page — if Minus The Bear were way more interesting musically. Because even though A Forest Of Polarity sounds like it’s ripped straight from the headlines pretty often, Rooftops do a good job of putting their own flavor into the mix. “I Fast Early” shares those proggy moments and those little noodling sounds, but then the band breaks down into a gentle melody, only to quickly blast right back into the heavy drum beats and mathy tones.

Listen to “Raft Easily”DOWNLOAD MP3

“Raft Easily,” with its chanting vocals echoing over quick tribal beats, pulls the band away from the instrumental zone. The band leaves with great guitar melodies that, in their own right, pay homage to the finger-picking of Dave Knudson of Minus The Bear. This time around, though, Rooftops use a repetitive, almost post-rockish mentality to let it echo and echo, build and build, before bringing in sudden, jarring math rock changes.

Rooftops definitely have something going with A Forest Of Polarity. Once the band has a few more albums under their belt, it’ll be impressive to see where their sound takes them — because it appears that they are going in the right direction. But they need more time to solidify their own sound and use their influences merely as just that, so that the next album the band puts out won’t need a sticker saying, “For fans of Maps And Atlases and Minus The Bear.”

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lol wut
lol wut
11 years ago

Dude. Remember the time that “Math Rock” was a genre with more bands than just Minus the Bear? Yeah, clearly not.

hm
hm
11 years ago
Reply to  lol wut

minus the bear is just an unpopular band to pick these days, but the influences are certainly present in their songs at least a bit, don’t you think? i mean, looking at the last.fm page, most of those sound nothing like rooftops. what does at least kind of sound like them is minus the bear. just my two cents, though

Peter
Peter
11 years ago
Reply to  lol wut

Yeah but I also remember the time when a band was math-rock and had that Minus the Bear sound as well. I’m sorry though, I’ll give it another listen and find the Battles influence. I’m sure its there with all the electronics and percussion driven sound this band has…or maybe I have to read between the lines and realize that deep down inside, these guys really wear Hella on their sleeves…

well
well
11 years ago
Reply to  lol wut

i’d say comparisons can definitely be drawn for mtb. especially on more upbeat tracks. but i hear more early don cab stuff or pele. they sound MOST like tenebre to me. and, though SUCH an over used reference, i think it’s somewhat reminiscent of american football — particularly on the latter half of the album. while maybe influenced by bands like hella and battles, i think those two venture a little too far away from what this band is doing to make accurate comparisons with.

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