Review Summary: Maserati meets Mogwai.
Rising together with various acts from the Greek stoner/psychedelic rock scene at the beginning of last decade, Tuber have always differentiated themselves with their electronic influences. A rather elusive presence lately, the quartet took their time to work on this latest full length. Arriving six years after Out of the Blue
, Joyful Science
picks things up and walks further down the synth rock path. There are less distorted riffs, opting for more melodic approaches instead. Maserati remains an influence, blended with smooth post-rock, as well as remnants of desert rock stylings. If the predecessor felt like a ride through the city at night, this LP might as well be your soundtrack for a nice, holiday drive. The overall relaxed vibe seeps from one song to another and the tempos are similar throughout. The title track embodies the experience, intertwining ‘80s synths with thumping bass lines, smooth slide guitars and steady drumming. Upon closer inspection, the guys have a pattern of starting each record with an extended, eponymous banger and this number doesn’t disappoint either. In fact, there are various put-your-sunglasses-on-and-accelerate moments on Joyful Science
. Perhaps the best one is “Eau Rouge”, unfolding this groovy, sequencer-led rhythm, where the other instruments work to enhance the electronic part. Once they kick in, they just keep expanding on a theme and create an immersive listen. So, whether they go for a laid back beat on the slow burning “Chain of Signs” or the more engaged “No Cure For Life”, they always keep things straightforward, in order to develop this cool, urban-type atmosphere. Going through their discography, you can hear they have a specific one in mind.
Meanwhile, for the final tune, “Burning Florence”, Tuber switch to Mogwai mode, choosing nostalgic piano chords to set off. There are minimal guitar flourishes, leaving more room for keyboard leads. The slide guitar returns for the final segment, sending us off on a rather melancholic note. It comes off as a bit unexpected, given the upbeat vibe of the previous cuts. Nevertheless, it adds to the diversity and shows a different side of the band. Although short, Joyful Science
provides a lovely sonic getaway full of cinematic value. Nothing complicated, wrapped in a glossy production that definitely augments the tracks. The Greek quartet simply wander their own path, further exploring the formula established right from the debut EP. They bring together a handful of influences which always make for an easy listen. This latest record is another win in their catalog.