Mathletes: #$@% You and Your Cool
Joe Mathlete writes songs the way other people might write an e-mail or grocery list. As such, his output tends to be scattershot, but when he's on, he's on, and his new limited-edition LP #$@% You and Your Cool is more hit than miss. Foremost among the keepers is "My Record Collection," a hilarious ode to his vinyl and CDs ("I have some rare German imports, I can't listen to those") whose Casiotone impishness would make the Judy's proud. Opener "Hornless Unicorn Anthem," with a heavy organ riff reminiscent of Elvis Costello's "Pump It Up," is a gas as well, while "ASTEROID!!!" is a noisy, effects-laden imagining of the apocalypse recorded live on KTRU. His softer-spoken side, which emerges on the xylophone-assisted "That Stupid Grin on Your Face" and "Half of Two Times None Plus Me," should snuggle up to Sondre Lerche and Jens Lekman fans. Like its packaging — a freaking bologna sandwich; the CD is the lunch meat and the tracklist and credits are on the "lettuce" — #$@% You and Your Cool sometimes verges on the overly cute, but Mathlete's youthful charm and facile songwriting make the half-hour disc much more endearing than exasperating.
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