YEAR RELEASED: 1994
CHART ACTION: #Nope
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: None
LINEUP: John McEntire, Dan Bitney, John Herdon, Douglas McCombs, Bundy Brown
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: First album by slow and steady Chicago scenesters is eerily beautiful.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: There’s probably no apt name for this band than Tortoise – where mid-tempo is breakneck speed and the music moves along methodically, steadily, and even with great beauty despite it all.
The first incarnation of the band featured two bassists and three percussionists, who play the standard drum kit along with vibraphone, marimba, and other mallet instruments. What results is a music that intrigues the listener. It sounds so different, yet at the same time the themes and motifs are familiar. And because it’s slow doesn’t mean it can’t be loud, but normally they carry along quietly (the drum kit on “Ry Cooder” is loud and joyful, though).
This is a record for those chill moments when you don’t need volume or convention to hang out. Good with wine and a book.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: The band was given credit for moving the Chicago scene away from the “Guyville” towards something called ‘post-rock’.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No
GRADE: A: For those of us who don’t mind instrumentals that blur the line of many genres.