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Math Jam: Rega’s “Mr. MARLOWE”

Rega describe themselves as a “progressive jam band.’ Don’t run in terror just yet – yes, pledging allegiance to “progressive jam” implies this Japanese quartet exists in the same dirty-hair realm of Phish and countless other bands who, given the chance, could play a nine-hour long show. Turns out Rega either don’t know how to market themselves or “Mr. MARLOWE” sees them getting a little less jammy. It’s an especially precise song, almost the opposite of the sometimes formless improvisation “jam” tends to be. This is flat-out instrumental math rock, bringing to mind all the words you’d associate with that (“angular” comes to mind). Though Rega make time to fit a bit of a groove into the song, making sure it doesn’t actually feel like math class. Picture a more tense Tortoise and you’ll get the feel of the highly enjoyable “Mr. MARLOWE.”