These days, it's nearly impossible not to see, hear or read about Old 97's.
Rhett Miller and crew have just released Blame It on Gravity, supposedly a return to form while bassist Murry Hammond's solo debut turned out to be a very pleasant surprise, an acoustic, country gospel record full of sin and salvation. Now along comes I Love Math, a Deathray Davies spinoff that features 97's drummer Phillip Peeples.
Granted, Peeples involvement here is a tad more than peripheral as Deathray frontman John Dufilho is running the show. But Peeples does contribute to I Love Math's overall ambience, and it's the mood that makes the band's second effort such a pleasant listen. Filled with Dufilho's hushed vocals, songs such as "Some Bridges Are for Burning" and "Only Clowns Are Scary " are fleshed out by bassist Jason Garner (The Paper Chase) and keyboardist Andy Lester (Slider Pines), not to mention Peeples' clockwork precision.
I Love Math
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While Getting to the Point has definite alt-country leanings, Dufilho wisely steers these proceedings toward the oft-kilter, cinematic pop of John Vanderslice and Paul Brill. Filled with simple, catchy melodies that get all gussied up without succumbing to the pretense of each participant's inherent skill, I Love Math is one spinoff that might warrant full-time status.