Music » Critics' Picks

Mathematicians

8 p.m. Monday, September 24. The Bluebird, 2706 Olive Street.

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If only calculus class were as fun as the synthpop crafted by the Mathematicians. The upstate New York trio dusts off SAT concepts on the sweeping New Romantic epic "Malfunction" ("Carry the two, carry the five/Carry the twelve, Carry the nine"), while the synth-prog of "Radical Two" sputters like a calculator on the fritz. The rest of the band's Level Two album channels elements of more geeky new-wave bands to, er, count — i.e. Devo's herky-jerky rhythms, Talking Heads' paranoid vocals and Human League's sensitive electro-pop — although hints of modern innovators such as Chromeo, the Faint and Ulrich Schnauss are also present.

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