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Tortoise - Millions Now Living Will Never Die CD (album) cover




Post Rock/Math rock

3.73 | 94 ratings

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5 stars Wow, this was impressive. Tortoise is my favorite post rock band, because of the sheer inquisitive, diverse, probing glory they capture while still making enjoyable tunes- and even though they aren't as emotional as GYBE or EITS, they can still hit some pretty soulful moments.

The opening epic is the 21 minute Djed. It starts with churning guitar and various effects before a hypnotic drum groove comes in and the band begins to give their own take on the sound of rythmic krautrockers like Can and Neu!, as guitars and synthesized effects float around uninhibited overhead. Soon, the groove dies, and Tortoise's signature percussion minces as the shadows of the floating ones hover. In an electronic pulse, this section also meets its end, and from the ruins comes a cold, dark synthesizer loop, and over that twangs sparse and mournful guitar. The vibes come in and it evokes the unexplainable emotions that often come from bands labeled as post rock. At 14 minutes, this section warps and twists around itself, making for one of the best moments in music, and out of the wreckage comes the pulse that began it and twirling effects, and this continues until bubbling bass and jazz-like drums mix with barely audible synth, and the song ends. This epic is truly a journey, possibly a life cycle- there's many things it can be, all it needs is a host to decide what that is. It is long and exploratory, but it keeps your attention and never has any "down moments" that plague other makers of long songs. And that's the first track! Thirteen lines of text for the opener really says something.

Anyway, onto the second side. Glass Museum is a haunting song that feels somewhat like what the title suggests- being inside some sort of structure, with more shadow than light and nobody around. A Survey is a short, slow song, with chirping crickets and light guitars over the surface. The Taut and the Tame is a more upbeat, straightforward song, starting with their always interesting percussion and rock guitar, before changing midway into something more atmospheric, only to revert to it's original form. Dear Grandma and Grandpa starts with synths and develops into a pulsing ambient track. And finally, out of that emerges Along the Banks of Rivers,the best song of the second side, hose power comes from cold, detached guitar howling over lush percussion and synthesizer chords. Millions Now Living Will Never Die is an outstanding album, and will be highly rewarding to any fan of interesting and unique instrumental music- it's much more than rock, it defies classification. About 4.5 stars, but because of it's individuality and the fact that it's a major pillar of the entire post-rock genre, I'll round it up to five stars. Buon lavoro Tortoise, buon lavoro.

Neurotarkus | 5/5 |


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