from the album Beware and Be Grateful
BY JASON VANOVER | Jonk Music In an age when the overall idea of music is as much about the sound as it is the overall artistic experience, creating a simplistically engaging yet visually enticing song is almost as difficult as it is rare. This is not to say that the marriage of the two never happens. Instead it simply reflects upon the idea that it's an entirely different beast to make a piece of music that blends together the subtle nuances with the overt sounds that initially draw us in. Likened to that of a fine glass of aged merlot, however, it's the refined undertones to a tune that make the overall product something music lovers will inevitably flock to.
If nothing else, Maps & Atlases' "Fever" is just that: A sophisticated, hook-driven anthem that delivers on a number of intricately woven layers. As hauntingly colorful as it is bleak, "Fever" manages to reach that rare plateau in music when a song somehow ties together the quiet with the atmospheric. And as it tends to be when two opposites somehow find one another, the end result is nothing short of a beautiful circumstance.
With eloquent harmonies and smoothly melodic shifts, Dave Davidson's vocals give off that whiskey-croon vibe that is as delightful as it is gritty. With a sharp and steady guitar hook backed by a rhythmically thunderous drum beat, "Fever" helps transform the often-labeled "math rockers" into something entirely void of what is similar. Instead they've managed to carve out a rare sound that encompasses all areas of pop, alt-rock, alternative rock, and yes...math rock.
"And all that you know of this is what you have heard," sings Davidson, only in this case what we've already heard doesn't necessarily reflect what we will ultimately hear going forward. There are moments in a musician's career when a song or album tends to represent that proverbial next step in a band's musical journey going forward. Beware and Be Grateful, and more specifically, "Fever," may just represent that growth that happens to catapult Maps & Atlases into that next realm of rock stardom.