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Tortoise - Standards CD (album) cover




Post Rock/Math rock

3.42 | 55 ratings

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4 stars Chicago's Tortoise was the first band labeled as "post-rock". They do not sound *anything* like GYBE, Mogwai or Explosions In The Sky. Trans Am was another band labeled "post-rock" early on but they are not on PA(don't think they belong here anyway). I don't understand why Tortoise is not more well-known. They are far more experimental and skilled than any of those bands who create moody guitar-based instrumentals with lots of crescendos. In fact, Tortoise is the only band I know of that has 3 bassists and 2 xylophone players(!) Their fourth album is my personal fav and it rawks a littler harder than any of their other albums. All instrumental, the music here is a mix of jazz, ambient, techno and avant-rock. There are some who will say that Millions... or TNT are better albums; those people are silly, don't listen to them. Granted, "Djed" on Millions... is the finest 20 miutes this group ever recorded, but the rest of the album leaves a lot to be desired.

The amount of instruments and effects they use on this album is impressive. One minute you will hear something that sounds like 70s RIO, the next some kind of early 80s R&B, the next like something you would hear at a rave in the 90s. Most if not all the members are multi- instrumentalists. Bass seems to be the most dominant instrument and there is little guitar, but more on this album than others. You hear influence from all kinds of genres ranging from dub reggae to Krautrock. Actually the only genres they wouldn't touch with a 10-foot pole it seems would be punk and metal. You get the idea: very diverse music but generally not loud and heavy. I have never heard anyone who even comes close to sounding like these guys.

I could never do a track-by-track analysis for these guys because their music is just too hard to describe. If you listen to the PA stream of the song "TNT" then you will have absolutely no idea what this album sounds like. Generally no two songs, let alone albums, sound alike in the world of Tortoise. If you are even slightly interested in this album I would suggest looking on YouBoob for some of the songs to see what they sound like. Of course I have no idea if anything from this album is currently uploaded to YouTube...why would I, I have the CD, geez. A solid 4 stars.

zravkapt | 4/5 |


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