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Tuatara Breaking the Ethers album cover
3.24 | 10 ratings | 1 reviews | 10% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1997

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Breaking the Ethers / Serengeti (Justin Harwood, Barrett Martin, and Skerik) (6:25)
2. Dark State of Mind (Harwood, Martin, and Skerik) (4:02)
3. Saturday Night Church (Harwood and Martin) (4:26)
4. Dreamscape (Harwood and Martin) (4:04)
5. The Desert Sky (Peter Buck, Harwood, Martin, and Skerik) (5:35)
6. Goodnight La Habana (Harwood and Martin) (4:49)
7. Smoke Rings (Harwood and Martin) (3:24)
8. The Getaway (Harwood and Martin) (5:04)
9. Eastern Star (Buck, Harwood and Martin) (4:20)
10. Burning the Keys (Harwood, Martin, and Skerik) (6:34)
11. Land of Apples (Buck, Harwood, Martin, and Skerik) (5:38)
12. Breaking the Ethers / Serengeti (reprise) (Harwood, Martin, and Skerik) (1:42)

Total Time 56:03

Line-up / Musicians

- Peter Buck / guitars
- Justin Harwood / bass
- Barrett Martin / drums
- Skerik / saxophones

Releases information

CD Epic Records

Thanks to clarke2001 for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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TUATARA Breaking the Ethers ratings distribution

(10 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(10%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(50%)
Good, but non-essential (40%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

TUATARA Breaking the Ethers reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by siLLy puPPy
3 stars Taking its name after the New Zealand reptile that resembles lizards but is actually a distinct lineage that goes back to the dinosaur era, the band TUATARA was formed in Seattle by the members of different musical groups that wanted to create an outlet for a more varied sound than the bands they were in. The band started in 1996 by Peter Buck (guitar) of R.E.M, Barrett Martin (drums, percussion) of Screaming Trees, Justin Harwood (bass) of Luna and The Chills and Skerik (sax) of Critters Buggin. The band was actually started to create some soundtrack music but turned into live shows and this debut album BREAKING THE ETHERS. The sounds you will encounter here range from slow and somber to the upbeat utilizing various world folk styles with a jazzy sax touch to the mix with occasional clarinets. The percussion is often strong with congas, vibraphones and marimbas being prominent features but many other exotic instruments ranging from didjeridus, tablas, Tibetan horns, djembes, udus, steel drums and more can be heard.

While this debut is ambitious in its scope, i can't say that it measures up in the songwriting department. Many of the tracks are quite pleasant to listen to but very few actually light my fire and make me want to hear them again. Most are slow and contemplative and would be great relaxation music to enjoy in a nice hot spa at a resort but much of the content here doesn't have enough grit to really get my juices flowing. It truly sounds like a band that is starting out on a journey to create something different from their relative stable careers in the more pop oriented world and haven't learned how to fully exploit the various timbres and flavors of the instruments on display. Nothing on here is as experimental or advanced as other world fusion bands like Codona put out in the late 70s / early 80s. Still this is decent listen and nothing on here is bad or unoffensive in the least bit, just not dripping with originality or contains enough progressive nuts and bolts to spice it up. The only track i really love is "The Getaway" as it is energetic, funky and filled with lots of gusto. While pleasant, the variety on this one is lacking and for a near hour of music it tends to send one to sleepy time by the end of its duration.

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