The M-Word – S/T EP

The M-Word

The M-Word is a two-piece band composed of M. David Hornbuckle and Christopher Weingarten, a duo who takes a sort of lo-fi, back-to-basics, down-n-dirty approach to arty math-rock. In fact, it’s so lo-fi that Weingarten plays percussion on a garbage can, adding his voice as well to Hornbuckle’s unique lyrics and acoustic/electric guitar. The instrumentation, for being so simple, is surprisingly good, as acoustic guitars mix with a fuzzed-out electric guitar sound.
That being said, The M-Word’s most unique feature is Hornbuckle’s lyrics. Formerly fronting bastard art-rockers PopCanon, here his words are distilled down to a more basic approach based on the simpler instrumentation. They’re storytelling bits of arty theorizing and esoteric philosophy, or perhaps they just tell stories. But delivered in Hornbuckle’s often deadpan singing, you’re either going to love them or hate them. Two of PopCanon’s better songs are offered here with the new approach for comparison.
The songs here are all short and to the point. One of, perhaps, the cleverest PopCanon songs, “Arthole,” with its repeated lines of “I’m an artist and you’re an asshole,” starts off the EP, taking a more jazzy, esoteric approach than the original. Perhaps it’s the unique percussion or just the fuzzed-out approach to the whole thing that makes it feel different. The guitar is more acoustic on “No Pants,” which again puts the focus on Hornbuckle’s off-kilter lyrics but is driven by a thick fuzzed-out guitar buzz. The catchiest PopCanon song, “Things About Which,” is offered here in the more lo-fi approach, and it’s still my favorite song by the new band, even without the former band’s math-rock approach. The lyrics are more playful here, not trying to be too deep or confounding, and the simple guitar and percussion approach works quite nicely, even if the duo lets it dissolve into chaos by the end with thick guitar.
So, this is a cute little 3″ EP, five songs in 10 minutes, nothing too overbearing or overwhelming. The duo is working on a full-length album, and I think if they stick to a playful approach – perhaps toning down the encompassing fuzzed-out guitar sound a bit, it should be a fun album. I like their approach, going back to basics to put an emphasis on attitude, enthusiasm, and the unique lyrics, and I applaud the effort.