It took Tortoise four years to move from the jazzy post-rock of Millions Now Living Will Never Die to the more electronic based Standards. Parlour manages to do it over the course of one album. Granted it’s an album that took five years to record and perfect, but, honestly, the transition is so seamless the album might as well have been written in on studio session.
“Jololinine” is a wonderful, lazily organic intro with its sustained notes, dancing xylophone, and crashing drums. The more ominous and angular “Distractor” comes next. The open, airy spaces of the opening song are traded for small, confined spaces of dense sounds, more worried than angry. “Over the Under” starts off sounding like a lost track from DJ Shadow’s Endtroducing or possibly just Shadow doing a remix of Godspeed You! Black Emperor but trading the string section for a hip-hop drum beat. It’s a great song.
“Regulkfro Reel” is the album’s turning point. After three and a half minutes of circular guitar riffs the floor drops out from underneath the organic sounds and Eno-esque electronic pulses are all that’s left to usher in the album’s new sound. “Hop Pife” is stark, echoing, and fragile. It has the feel of ice forming on small pools of water, or rain turning to snow as it descends from the clouds above. The closer, “Svrendikditement,” bursts with cacophonous distorted drumbeats and electric squalls. Overtop of this a clockwork melody chimes along making the song the most ugly/beautiful song on the album.
Googler plays like a “best-of” history of the last five years in post-rock. While it doesn’t hit every note that’s happened along the way, it is sure to have something to offer post-rock fans both past and present.
Temporary Residence: http://www.temporaryresidence.com/