steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Tristan Da Cunha

Self-titled CD

Losing Blueprint

Genres: indie rock, math rock, "scientist rock"

Losing Blueprint
12A Day St.
Waltham, MA 02453

Mar 17 - 23 2003

A while back I reviewed another Losing Blueprint record, Fiesel's The Ruins of This Life.  I praised its fantastic, angular sound and the amazing power it boasted.  It was one 2002's better albums.  And then the time came to give another Losing Blueprint act a listen.  Tristan Da Cunha.  Their self-titled debut album.  Ooh boy.

They call it "scientist rock."  Or, rather, "mad scientist rock."  This, of course, because of the complicated time measures and the meticulously fine-tweaked, complex sound.  And the "rock" part - well, that's because they really do rock.  I mean seriously.  You've all heard your fair share of "math rock" out there - lots of is just as boring as all heck.  But what Tristan Da Cunha have done - well, they've mixed their complicated sound with a much more primal, thrilling style.  Beneath the complexity, they attack the ears with a barrage of jerky rhythms, blasting guitar, and fine-ass melody.  It's kind of like a more vibrant Faraquet.

To pick out particular tracks is a worthless exercise.  The songs flow together so perfectly that, hey, "Jesus Marches With a Little Spider" and "Narcosynthesis" may have different names, and may be completely different songs, but their spasmodic, crazy sounds go hand-in-hand.  Who wants to classify?  This music is for listening, bitch.

And I guess that's the essence of this whole record.  You listen, you enjoy, and in the end you're so friggin' fried by the music that you don't want to examine what you've just heard.  You just sit up, put your finger down on the little forward-triangle, and let the speakers work their magic.


Fun Fact: Tristan Da Cunha take their name from the island of the same name, which is apparently "the remotest island in the world."  Tristan apparently houses but one town, The Settlement of Edinburgh, which "now numbers just over 300 proud and hospitable people with only seven surnames among them."  The population apparently speaks a "preserved Georgian dialect laced with a few early Americanisms."  The island is located in the South Pacific island 1500 miles from South Africa, near the islands Nightingale, Middle, Inaccessible, and Stoltenhoff.  More information is available here.

Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 11 songs, distributed by the label, released 2002]