Tusk are a self-described "Avant, progged out, psych, helicopter grind" band from the U.S., who actually play a style of post-metal extremely similar to Pelican
. Before unwarranted cries of "rip-off" and "unoriginal" go unheard, Tusk are actually made up of 3 of the 4 members of Pelican (and an additional vocalist). The Resisting Dreamer
is their third album, released in 2007.
The first two tracks, "The Everlasting Taste of Disguise" and "Cold Twisted Aisle" are similar in their aesthetic and delivery, following a certain song structure that while occasionally repetitive, still keeps the listener interested. The first song begins with guitars plucking dissonant notes over hi-hat counts, with the production giving the guitar a dreamy atmosphere. The drums crash in and the guitar riff evolves, utilizing more dissonance and contrasting it with melody. The low end is later brought into the song, with a slow sludgy riff being played over some simple (yet effective) drum beats, and some fantastic bass riffing to back it up. The rest of the song continues evolving and playing around these few riffs, which might sound boring, but makes for an interesting sound. The vocals are introduced about 2 and a half minutes into the song, and sound sludgy, along the lines of Scott Kelly or Troy Sanders. The end of the song segues into second track "Cold Twisted Aisle" with another atmospheric slow riff, which makes up the first 30 or 40 seconds of the track until the drums come in again using the minimalistic approach found in Pelican's sound. The guitars on this track feature more melody to produce an effect on the listener, yet the striking chords are harsh enough to contrast this low-end beauty. In a similar fashion to the first track, the song plays off the first few riffs for its duration, with some tempo changes, and some almost emo-like vocals being introduced about 4 minutes in.
The end of "Cold Twisted Aisle" leads into shortest track "Life's Denial" with a slow, melodic bass riff underneath a guitar line that has solo-esque qualities, and continues for about 3 minutes. The guitar then stops playing and starts feedbacking, creating some amazing atmosphere with tortured vocals until the end of the song. This ambient-like effect continues into 17-minute album closer "The Lewdness and the Frenzy of Surrender". The feedback and vocals create a dreamy effect, entrancing the listener for a couple of minutes, where drums make their way into the song with cymbal crashes and then a steady beat, over which the guitarist uses his instrument like a voice, producing gorgeous melodies with feedback. The drums then fade out, leaving only the guitar in the forefront...and then the guitar fades out, leaving ambient droning to carry the listener to the end of the song, and the end of this great 40-minute album.
Each song on this album has its own unique sound, while maintaining an overall similar sound throughout. The band is talented, no doubt, but that is to be expected with members of veterans Pelican. Hopefully in the future, Tusk can break away further from drawing these similarities, adding more influences and original sounds to their music.