Maps and Atlases’ – Beware, And Be Grateful album review

Taking no less than the grandest of departures from their past, Chicago math-rock quartet Maps and Atlases have refined their once eclectic and hyper-energized brand of indie rock, and produced their newest musical endeavor titled Beware, And Be Grateful.

Their 5th album released in 6 years, Beware, And Be Grateful strays so far away from their technically explosive music just years before; all the while retaining the same upbeat spirit and charm so signature to the band. If you’ve ever heard tracks from the band’s previous albums – Trees, Swallows and Houses and You Me and The Mountain in particular – it’s a transformation to the mainstream that often turns off fans who feel as if the band has forgotten their roots.

Perhaps the most notable change comes from the masterful harmonies of frontman and lead guitarist Dave Davison who, in a departure from previous albums, has allowed himself to explore new vocal styles and exhibit his accurate yet exciting range.

From the first track titled “Old and Gray”, M&A illustrate their ability to create music that’s catchy to mainstream listeners, while at the same time ensuring that they keep their core fans excited and wanting more.

Davison and the gang pull inspiration from dozens of styles of music: from the Latin-scented track “Bugs” to their (arguably) most mainstream art-rock track “Remote and Dark Years”, each song is a gateway into a moment in musical history.

Whether you’re a weathered math-rock veteran or a new music newbie, Beware, And Be Grateful is an album that’s sure to be on repeat for months to come.

Check out the band’s video for “Remote and Dark Years” here:

Wanna hear their old stuff? Here’s the oddly addicting video for “Every Place is a House” off of Trees, Swallows, Houses:

Josh Fumo

University of Toronto. Semi-famous musician. Hardcore foodie and chef-at-home.

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