|Genre||Math-Rock / Post-Rock / Instrumental|
|Released||Jan 13 2013|
Tortuganónima are a relatively undiscovered 4-piece Math-rock/post-rock band from Chile. The band lists the likes of The Mars Volta, GY!BE, Toe and Don Caballero among others under their influences via their facebook page. Other than that there really doesn’t appear to be too much out there for information on the band. There is however, their self titled debut album, released independently via bandcamp on January 13th and it is quite good. So good in fact that despite just over 300 likes on facebook and barely a web presence, the band has caught the attention of Postrockstar. Hopefully by the end of this review we can help this album get the attention it definitely deserves.
The seven-track 32 minute album opens with “Interludio” which starts things off immediately as a medium-tempo post-rock track. I like that the band decided to open the album this way rather than with a slow build up track, it just feels more appropriate given that there is also a fair amount of math-rock to be found on the album. Drummer Andrés shows impressive talent in “Interludio” especially near the end of the track as it breaks down. After a short sample (in spanish I believe), we have “____” which is a spastic math-rock track that opens with scaling guitars before settling down and falling into a nice groove. Cymbals are a little excessive in this track, but cymbals are a little excessive in almost all-post-rock, so I’ve learned to live with it.
I have to say that any band that is willing to name a track “Morgan Freeman” gets a thumbs up in my book. The track is a mathy continuation of the previous track but does include a Morgan Freeman sample from the movie “The Shawshank Redemption” in the middle of the track. This track maintains high energy throughout and I feel like it would make for a really fun live track. At over 7 minutes, “Bordis” is the longest track on the album and showcases excellent song writing. Math-Rock tracks generally exceed a few minutes in length so to see a 7 minute track manage to grab my attention and never let go says to me this is a band that has talent. The distortion layers later in the track really stand out and I really wish the band would have utilized this sound more throughout the album.
“Kokoschka” starts off relatively heavy compared to the rest of the material with multi-layered distortion tones and a much quicker tempo than previous songs. The sample and the far-out guitar work that spirals out of control in the middle of the track makes “‘Kokoschka” the most fun track on the album. “Margen De Error” feels very much like a math-rock vs post-rock hybrid track as the track has both styles of guitar work that seem to clash at times. Finally, the album comes to close with “Dan Cob” which brings the energy levels down just a little bit and really sees the band break out of their shell with a little bit of experimentation. While the band’s work does come off as technically sound, most of the tracks seem somewhat similar to one another. “Dan Cob” breaks that trend and for that I think it is my favorite track on the album.
The band’s talent is undeniable and overall this is a SOLID math-rock album. On the downside, the production qualities are noticeably below average and the album is lacking the polish of a proper audio engineering and mastering. This is completely understandable and forgivable as I absolutely understand these independent releases are generally self funded, but still I feel like it should be pointed out. That being the only true downside to this album, Tortuganónima’s debut is a fun, quirky album that should undoubtedly find it’s place into the collection of math-rock fans. 1-16-13