Rectangle – Bunker


The year is 1997, and Sonic Youth and Pavement stir fans of their very different, but equally influential, music to either start-up or join a band. In Urbana, Illinois, one such group of individuals eventually unifies, starts to practice, and performs as an entirely unique indie-rock group. In the years that have passed since this genesis, Rectangle’s original sound heard on their first, full-length release, Bunker, is as much a step forward for one band as it is a milestone for members Victor Cortez, Orion Layton, Matt Mitchell, and Timothy Read.

“The Bunker Song” starts off a loose, but cohesive record of appreciated recordings that give a solid nod to an admitted Pavement influence. Smart, quirky lyrics like “I can make it myself I can do anything / I make my own soup base without bullion cubes or anything / I’m well known in the bunker for my good chess games” bounce around a slightly tired song of guitar, drum, little tikes piano, and cello as if stated by Stephen Malkmus himself.

To leave the idea with you that Rectangle is simply making music with a singular influence would not be fair, and just the opposite can be heard on Bunker‘s multi-regional appeal. Chapel Hill’s mighty influence is apparent in songs “Kilowatt Per Hour Counter” and “Angstroms Versus Hemispheres,” when Polvo-like song structures collide with an Archers of Loaf more straightforward brand of indie-rock. From the other side of the country, Rectangle also finds various influences from the Northwest, and perhaps that is on account of one member’s high, modest voice sounding similar to Built to Spill’s Doug Martsch. Certainly though, fans of the Northwest indie esteemed will find Rectangle’s own brand of eccentric indie-rock very appealing, and songs like “The Crow Flies in a Crooked Line,” “The Eights I See You Make,” “Polar Bear,” and “John Canoe” will sound completely new but not entirely unfamiliar.

At their most original, Rectangle compliment the very angular and guitar rocking “At The Facial Counter” with scratching and spinning turntables. This is perhaps the song from which Rectangle will continue to develop. This is not to say that they need turntables on every future song. Just the opposite in fact; take that element away from what is heard in “At The Facial Counter,” and you definitely have a band putting influences aside and stepping forward to establish their own sound. This sound I hope to hear again from Rectangle.