Yes, the record is called If that is what
is being thought, liberated sound talks the depths of [musical]
To A Silver
Mount Zion I say this: "Must try harder guys. You've
been out-titled!" Here each of the 12 track names themselves
go for around the twenty word mark. If I mention them all
in full, there'll be no space left for the review! Luckily,
like the album title, each song name contains one bracketed
word such as track 1, [Intelligence]. Handy!
Mention Post Rock and Japan and most people naturally think
of the excellent Mono. Té do not follow the Mono template.
If anything they bring far more Japan to the table. A rawness
perhaps? An energy you might associate with compatriots Melt
Banana or old Peel favourites, Shonen Knife? Many of the early
exponents of Math Rock were also Japanese (e.g., Zeni Geva).
Instead of Mono think perhaps 65daysofstatic, without the
[Musical] though, isn't strictly Math Rock. Yes there are oblique rhythmical complexities at times, but té are quick to pull back to 4/4 beats and never let the tracks get too bogged down. Think of them more as Geometry Rock. Not that these songs could possibly drag. You'd die first. They're such an assault to the senses. Led by urgent basslines and followed by drums that'd pound anyone into submission, these tracks simply have to end after five or six minutes, or otherwise your brain would start to dribble out of your ears.
But aren't they supposed to be a guitar and effects led band? Well yes. So does this mean the guitars are swamped by the drums? Not exactly, although there are times the mix elements do seem to be at odds with each other. Somehow it's ALL mixed high? If you're afraid of treble, don't come to this party.
Yet it's enjoyable. This is one hard-hitting slab of Post Rock that pulls no punches. If you prefer your Post Rockers to be influenced by Slint rather than Shoegaze, to steer clear of the pretty stuff and stick to the task of blowing peoples socks up their ass, then THIS is for you. There are gentler ones, there is variety and there is ambience but mostly té deliver a ferocious intensity. They must be blistering in concert.
If there is to be a downside, it could be argued that these pieces speak more to the head than they do to the heart or soul. Titles like [Mind] and [Intelligence] are apt in this respect. These oblique tracks are for chin-stroking rather than heart-warming, as they alternate between thrilling and clever.
The US release of [Musical] is re-mastered and comes with two
additional tracks well worth hearing as they hint at wider possibilities for
té. The first, [Farce], is almost a funk workout while the second bizarrely
recalls Mansun, a group that ironically found its warmest audiences in Japan.
There's a hint of tenderness here too as the guitar fades away into playful
flamenco territory. The track is entitled [Heart].