Thomas & the Evil Computer Math Teachers Count

Math Teachers Count is possibly the closest thing to a prog punk video game ever conceived of by a human being. Culled from the inventive mind of Jan Rudy, this is less a concept record than it is a concept band. The story goes that six year-old Thomas Wintergreen keeps an electronic journal on his home computer. As it turns out, the PC in question is actually evil and plans to enslave all of humanity. Inspired by the soundtracks of video games stored in its hard drive, the computer crafts a bizarre form of math pop, compiling Thomas’ private thoughts for lyrics to create 12 strangely exhilarating songs. Beginning with the stirring "Thought I Thought,” getting to the next tune is akin to reaching another level of a Nintendo cartridge. The childlike simplicity of "Someday, I Will Make a Good ‘S’” and "Set Sail” is offset by Rudy’s penchant for jagged, airtight power pop. This is the kind of music D&D geek Rivers Cuomo would make if he actually gave a shit. Fortunately, Thomas & the Evil Computer care a lot. (Ford Plant)