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Turtle Rock



by pizzamachine USER (498 Reviews)
March 2nd, 2023 | 2 replies

Release Date: 03/01/2023 | Tracklist

Review Summary: turtle turtle

Turtle Rock has the paint job of an average album, yet I’m convinced it’s a hidden gem. It is a solo project from Kai Slater, the guitarist/singer from Lifeguard, and he clearly puts oodles of effort into his work. I am enamoured with the vocals. I can’t justify it, but I love his wobbly, somber singing style. Also interesting is the fuzz laden guitar work, but matched with a beefy, audible bass line the beats stay bopping. Ahhh but the tastiness is only beginning, for the pop and rock combination is stirred so gently one may believe they made a mini soup — such delicate warmth! Beats pop but soothingly, not quite dream pop, yet close enough to snuggle in. The vocals and instruments are not just warm, they’re hot chocolate drinks poured directly into the stomach.

The recordings have a lo-fi effect, snow blanketed and scratchy like an old record, or perhaps an old tv show recording. That is the most unique part of the album, and it is smooth like sugar. It’s that relaxing feeling you get from meditating, reading a book, or playing one of those “cozy” games on the Nintendo Switch. Anticipate gentle, yet commanding nudges of varied/simple drum work to keep the pace up, but no so up as to be out of reach. It’s another garage rock, indie album that does much with little. The choruses aren’t quite memorable, and the guitar work is equally forgettable, and yet, I could care less. I put on the music and started to drift away into their relaxing atmosphere, returning to Earth when the album finished. I zoned out often to gentle tones, but not from boredom, I was relaxed enough to nestle in, thereby releasing stress.

In truth, I wanted to give this album a 4 based on pure enjoyment alone, and how I felt through the listening process. However, buskers that play nice music have their music shortly forgotten when passed by; Turtle Rock is likewise quite forgettable from a distance. That leads me to another problem with Turtle Rock, an album that has great vibes, yet won’t go the extra mile to keep us invested. Sure, I was calmed, but the overall energy level is stunted. Even during catchier tracks, I barely felt engaged. Their minimal aesthetic tended to be overtly plain, successful in sleepier tracks with understated acoustics, but less effective as a compelling backdrop for their poppier tunes.

Turtle Rock gets more right than wrong in this bite sized debut album. Indie albums are hit or miss for me, and this one hit despite a lack of gas in their tank. Songs play out in, perhaps, a safe manner but a snug one. It’s no wonder if I’ll enjoy this album on repeat listens, and perhaps with repeated trips, the songs will have increased impact. Instead, I’m left with a very much derivative, cozy indie album that doesn’t stand out from the crowd. However, I have a nice memory of time well spent with Turtle Rock, involving a lush, balmy production style in an enjoyable vacation trip.

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Comments:Add a Comment 
Contributing Reviewer
March 2nd 2023


This seems like an album right up my alley. Nice review, Pizza! :D

March 2nd 2023


Album Rating: 3.5

Ty, this one came out of nowhere.


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