Tarentel We Move Through Weather

[Temporary Residence; 2004]

Styles: post-rock, instrumental rock; prog-rock
Others: GYBE!, Mogwai, Explosions in the Sky, Sonic Youth, Tortoise

Tarentel's latest, We Move Through Weather, begins with a clichéd rumble of static and low bass tones. You wouldn't be at fault for expecting a plucked guitar chord to lumber in and then hang around for the next 30 minutes; it's exactly what I was anticipating. Well, the aggressive burst of drums at around the 40 second mark proved me wrong. The addition of Jim Redd, pounding on his toms, has obviously changed some part of Tarentel's group dynamic. Redd's low, methodical marches create a different kind of ambient tension for the band, while simultaneously fulfilling the listeners primitive desire for a dense, tribal beat. And surprisingly, the kit is a mainstay, while the guitars take a backseat for most of the ride.

Now a trio, Tarentel's music has become surprisingly effortless, flowing naturally without seeming forced, only sometimes coming across monotonous. The long stretches of instrumental warbling are still in tact; a low distorted hum pulses through each track, but there is always the sense that something fresh is just around a corner, an attribute of unmistakable importance for an album as experimental and open as We Move Through Weather. And only when a thin piano chord chimes in (at the albums midway point) do you realize how devoid of harmony the last 30 minutes have been. Tarentel have succeeded at evoking surprise and unexpectedness from a standard piano figure. Congratulations. In the context of experimentalism, even the simplest addition of convention can have a monumental effect, an idea that Tarentel also seems ready to investigate.

As well as piano, the second half of We Move Through Weather introduces short passages of (what sounds like) clarinet, trumpet, and other odd, horn-like bursts. Most of the alternative instrumentation is restricted to "Everywhere The Damn Echo," a track that plots along for six minutes without a rhythm to tame its borderline atonal madness. This short (well, short by Tarentel's standards) break from tempo only enhances the drums affect on the proceeding cut. After an elongated build up, We Move Through Weather eventually cools down, allowing the first true melody to emerge in its final minutes. A simple piano line repeats at a casual pace, accompanied by slowly ascending waves of the aforementioned odd, horn-like sounds; except this time they come across like an orchestra, their rise and fall creating a rare moment of prettiness on a decidedly experimental album.

1.Hello! We Move Through Weather!
2.Elephant Shoes
3.Get Away From Me You Clouds of Doom
5.Bump Past, Cut Up Through Windows
6.Everywhere the Damn Echo
7.A Cloud No Bigger Than a Man's Hand
8.We're the Only Ghosts Here