TotorRo
Home Alone


3.5
great

Review

by Ben USER (15 Reviews)
March 31st, 2016 | 32 replies


Release Date: 01/01/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Coffee

"Fun" is the first word that comes to mind when describing French quartet Totorro, bloody good fun. If you are unfamiliar with these guys they present a blend of instrumental post rock and maths rock, having more in common with the latter than the former. The band’s distinctly guitar driven sound is clear throughout the record. It gives the album an enjoyable barebones feel, although consequently lacking the instrumentally varied feel that other bands in the genres champion. However, although more varied passages would have improved the record’s depth and re-playability ‘Home Alone’ is certainty is not ruined by this shortcoming.

Energy dominates the first half of the record. The band never settles too long on one rhythm before smacking you in the face with a new one, each change as uplifting as the last. This never leaves the listener disorientated, the album consistently easy to listen to and surprisingly relaxing in places. This is simultaneously the albums biggest achievement and failure; it never alienates the listener yet never challenges either, making for an accessible but shallow experience. On the one hand all the songs are vibrant and catchy from the first listen, providing a brilliant gateway for anyone new to the genre. On the other hand it may underwhelm genre veterans who expect something more substantial or complex. Thankfully its short run time means it never has a chance to bore; Totorro deliver easily digestible bites of excitement and then swiftly move on before you have the chance to think to hard about them.

Tracks like ‘Eric Colson’ and ‘Motte-Rock’ pleasantly contrast the sporadic first half of the record. They find much in common with Maybeshewill’s style of post rock, the songs gracefully flowing and developing. Although they lack the multifarious layering and epic conclusions typical of post rock they clearly never strove for these goals. What we have instead are well crafted, invigorating and bubbly songs, the enjoyment of which not waning even after several listens despite their basic feel. The only dud track is ‘Tigers & Gorillas’, which, despite its intriguing name, is fairly dull. It lacks the vibrancy of the majority of the album whilst not replacing it with the grace of tracks like ‘Eric Colson’. It attempts to end the album with a typical post rock epic finale but unfortunately shows Totorro out of their depth. However, despite highlighting their limits it shows an area that Totorro will likely improve upon with experience, which I eagerly await.

'Home Alone' has much in common with coffee; it’s energetic, addictive and admittedly not to everyone’s taste. Some will likely find it somewhat weak due to its simplicity. However, whilst lacking the intricacy and splendor of the genres it draws inspiration from, ‘Home Alone’ is undeniably fun. In forgoing these genre staples, Totorro gift us with a refreshing bundle of energy that consistently forced a smile on my face with every listen and change of direction. In short, 'Home Alone' is well worth your time … just don’t expect the new dawn of math rock or post rock.



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user ratings (54)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
BlushfulHippocrene
Staff Reviewer
March 31st 2016


2802 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Some of the expression is a bit awkward and it could have done with perhaps another proofread, but this was a good write-up. I think it would have benefited the review to have taken the analogy a bit further, too; it's an interesting setup. Giving this a listen now, and I agree with you so far.

Digging: Angel Du$t - Pretty Buff

AsleepInTheBack
April 1st 2016


5931 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks for the feedback, hope you enjoy the record. Any particular expressions you find awkward?

BlushfulHippocrene
Staff Reviewer
April 1st 2016


2802 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I should have been less vague, I'm sorry. But for instance, I think the "of" in "describing of" is a bit unnecessary, and I think the first word of the sentence should be in double quotations to help differentiate from song titles. "...whilst not replacing it with the grace of..." comes off a bit awkward to me, too. I think it's because the first half of the sentence offers a negative, the whilst seems to thus offer a contrasting positive, though the second part is phrased as another negative. I'm unsure if that makes sense, but otherwise this was a great review. Interested in whatever you write next.

AsleepInTheBack
April 1st 2016


5931 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Fair points, thanks for clarifying. I'll make a couple of tweaks and bare your points in mind in future reviews. Thanks!

MrGarland
April 23rd 2016


215 Comments


"'Home Alone' has much in common with coffee; it’s energetic, addictive and admittedly not to everyone’s taste."

Love the analogy. I'll have to check these guys out.

AsleepInTheBack
April 24th 2016


5931 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks man, thought it may have come across as a little forced so I'm glad you liked it.

And yeah do, these guys are great fun

zaruyache
December 20th 2016


20534 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

"Fun" is the first word that comes to mind when describing French quartet Totorro"



I love jazzy post-rock nonsense like this.

AsleepInTheBack
January 1st 2017


5931 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It's the best. Need more in my life, any recs anyone?

zaruyache
January 1st 2017


20534 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

newest Alpha Male Tea Party, newest Brontide, Fight Cloud - We'll Be Alright, Cleft - BOSH!,

AsleepInTheBack
January 2nd 2017


5931 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

wow, Alpha Male Tea Party are fantastic

zaruyache
January 2nd 2017


20534 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Yuppp! Spread the gospel.

redrig
February 14th 2017


130 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This album is cute af

AsleepInTheBack
February 14th 2017


5931 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

fo sho. nice 4.5

zaruyache
February 14th 2017


20534 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

fun fun fun till your daddy takes the t bird awayy

MotokoKusanagi
April 6th 2017


1739 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

this album somehow always finds its way onto my youtube recommendation section



really fun stuff though

AsleepInTheBack
April 6th 2017


5931 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I get that too, thats how I discovered them myself

AsleepInTheBack
July 28th 2017


5931 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Kind of funny how my rating has soared with this one. 3.5?! Pfft.

BlushfulHippocrene
Staff Reviewer
July 28th 2017


2802 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Whoa, this review was a lot longer ago than I thought. Insane rating change, man, glad it grew. I feel for bad for this 3.0 now, will see if it's changed.

verdant
Staff Reviewer
July 28th 2017


2397 Comments


there is one song on this that i really love and i have not yet heard the rest.

(**really fucken cool story jack**)

really i'm just commenting so i remember to read this review eventually

BlushfulHippocrene
Staff Reviewer
July 28th 2017


2802 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Check his Come to Mexico review if you get a chance. Only like ten months after this and it's a massive improvement. I'd also argue that's the better album, but Ben's probably the expert.



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