Review Summary: Four guys from Japan which have a knack for creating ball-bustingly loud post rock really, really well.
As a reviewer, I can quite easily admit that I wouldn’t be anywhere without my trusty thesaurus. Ask any other reviewer and they’ll tell you the same thing. If they deny it, they’re, quite simply, filthy rotten liars. We’ve all succumbed to the shameful act of dipping one’s hands into the cookie jar of synonyms, frenziedly devouring the words only to regurgitate them for the benefit of the reader (or to make ourselves seem smart). Some are at it more than others (the capacity of human intelligence seems to limit the capabilities to expand upon any possible creative aptitudes
), some just can’t quite grasp the concept of not overdoing it (the capacity of human intelligence seems to limit the capabilities to expand upon any possible creative aptitudes
), and some simply enjoy it a little too much (you get the idea
). I could sit here forever and mull over each and every alternative word for what Te’ (or Té) essentially is. But that would be pointless. The instrumental four-peice are best described in three simple words, no dictionary required. Really. Fu
It Be The Thinking… is the sophomore effort for the Japanese post rockers after releasing If That Is What’s Being Thought… to minimal reception. I can’t really comment on their debut as I haven’t heard it, but I can say that with their second album the band have truly nailed down what it means to contain a phenomenal amount of volume and energy with unwavering control and flair. First track ‘Nonexistent Intelligence’ explodes out of the blocks with a relentless, breakneck drum roll, smashing into thunderous guitars, creating a huge canyon of raw aggressive noise. There is very little time for breath as a small melodic interlude breaks up the onslaught but the intention to destroy your eardrums with a beautiful rage is made clear from the start. ‘Person Who It Plays’ starts in similar fashion, with racing drums and gritty guitars ripping away any space for pause before eventually slowing their relent to allow some melody to seep through. The result of this assault of controlled noise on the listener is a tremendous surge in adrenaline and emotion. The band have often been compared to hardcore bands and its not hard to see the comparisons. They have an aggressively raw and emotively unrefined style but also possess extremely tight musicianship skills, which they exploit with a phenomenal amount of energy and passion to create some killer melodies and unyieldingly powerful noise walls with interplay which fascinates as it melts the face.
The album isn’t entirely composed of demonstrations in how to make as much noise as humanly possible however. Tracks like ‘Done and Maintain’ may rip a riff from the silence and impose it on a crashing drum line, but it is done in a way which has the head nodding instead of banging. The track ventures into more barren sections with the pile up of instruments miles away, but always eventually returns to the flagged riff. The drumming on each of these tracks is pretty great I should say, with the skinsman always keep things fresh and interesting with frantic, forever-rolling beats. ‘Heart Be The Made’ also slows things down, with an entire track composed of one solid drum section repeated playing underneath a humble guitar riff repeated with subtle alternations. The track eventually picks up a little with the other guitarist throwing his hat into the ring, but on the whole the song is a little boring. What can be said though is that Te’ either have absolutely no idea about the traditional quiet-loud formula of post rock or they, quite rightly, have decided to abandon that idea because of how much it has been exhausted by other bands.
If a criticism can be levelled against Te’, it is that they are much, much better at being loud than they are at being quiet. Their melodies are great, but a lot of the tracks are steeped in tedium thanks to an inability to mix them up all that much. They may be a simple meat-and-potatoes line-up, but a tad more variation in their delivery can’t be too difficult to achieve. Also, the album seems to lack any killer track. Despite how awe-inspiring their unique style of post rock is, there’s no real track as an entirety which takes the breath away. For now, Te’ are one of the best bands around for delivering skull-destroying, ear-splitting post rock, but here’s hoping they can add a few more weapons to their arsenal next time around.