Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Tristeza - Spine And Sensory

Artist: Tristeza
Album: Spine And Sensory
Label: Better Looking Records
Year: 2004

01. Golden Hill
02. Beige Finger
03. RMS 2000
04. When We Glow
05. Memphis Emphasis
06. Muerte En Tu Sueno
07. Electrolytes
08. The Marionette
09. Cinematography
10. A Little Distance
11. Macrame
12. Pink Elephants
13. La Verdad


Tristeza is yet another 5-piece instrumental post rock group, except they're doing things a little differently. Although they could possibly be likened to some of the quieter moments of Mogwai, Tristeza harkens more to more delicate moments, not unlike Cocteau Twins of old without the vocals of Elizabeth Frazier (although her vocals were usually the focus, the beautiful sweeping music of the group was often sadly overlooked).

Using a lineup of two guitars, a drummer, a bassist, and a keyboardist, the group writes nicely progressing, sometimes slightly rolicking tunes that sink into the back of your head and forget about rocking out for a moment (although you may find yourself swaying ever so nicely with them). One look at the clean, simple radiating design on the package and you'll find that there music (often times starting with nearly nothing, then building before arriving at something completely different) is quite fitting.

The disc starts out with some very slight guitar plucking on "Golden Hill" before a very light keyboard drone and the rest of the instrumentation comes in behind it. They all wind in together and spiral upwards through a couple different iterations before droning out a bit at the end. "Beige Finger" picks up the pace for the group before they drop off into the ultra-dreamy sounds of "RMS 2000." With echoed-out drums, sweeping keyboard effects and chimes, the song is the perfect soundtrack for a light night looking at the stars. The drone continues on for several minutes into the beginning of the next track "When We Glow," but by the end of the track, it's reached the loudest level of any song on the album while shucking its molasses pace. It's all about the sustained crescendo (as Godspeed You Black Emperor! can likely tell you).

The group picks up the tempo again on the awesome track "Memphis Emphasis" before drifting out again a bit on the dual droning/strummed guitar "Muerte En Tu Sueno." Before closing out the album, the group manages to even add a piano to their arsenal quite nicely on "Cinematography." Borrowing from silent film soundtracks and bits of Tortoise, the twinkling song is one of the best on the album. The disc closes out with "A Little Distance," a track that falls into the vein of the first two in structure, but something different yet again. Overall, the album is an amazing 45 minutes of instrumental music from a relatively new group on the scene. It's quite and fairly soft and sometimes cinematic, but it's also a nice break to those groups who feel the need to turn the amps up to 10 all the time.

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