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Tortoise - Tortoise CD (album) cover

TORTOISE

Tortoise

 

Post Rock/Math rock

3.36 | 32 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Tortoise is a fitting name for this unassuming Chicago-based instrumental quintet, specializing in exactly the sort of music you might expect to hear from a shy amphibian living comfortably inside his self-made shell. Never mind the Post Rock/Math Rock label, which is little more than a flag of convenience: they're just another unique band marching to the beat of their own drummer, who in this case happens to play a lot of tuned percussion.

Describing the music on their self-titled 1994 debut album can be a challenge (and that fact alone should be enough to recommend it). But a quick study of the instrumentation ought to give you a good idea of their sound. The group employs five musicians: three of them on bass guitar, and three more playing some kind of keyboard instrument (note the electric harpsichord), with yet another combination of three sharing percussion duties (including vibes and marimbas).

Now, take a look at the song titles, some of them mini-masterpieces of Dada absurdity: "Onions Wrapped in Rubber" (a drifting ambient industrial interlude); "Tin Cans and Twine" (the perfect description for such a casual, back-porch sort of jam); and "Cornpone Brunch" (well, what else would you call a cool retro- lounge jazz pastiche with a KRAFTWERK-like vocoder intro?)

You fill in the blanks. In short, this is the work of serious artists with a sense of humor, always a healthy combination when exploring the outer fringes of musical eclecticism. The album may not grab your immediate attention, but give it time: like Aesop's fabled tortoise it might surprise you at the finish line.

Neu!mann | 3/5 |

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