Genre: prog-rock-jazz fusion
TNT is an album I got out the music library, on a whim, from their very diminished prog-rock section (sitting next to Sigur Ros and Godspeed! You Black Emperor). What a find. I adore this shit.
Tortoise have an instrumental style (like many prog bands), with jazz injections – hard-hit, fast drums, twangy guitars, mixing melodies, loooong pieces of music, mixes of instruments etc. You get the picture.
Tortoise were formed in 1990 Chicago, the band have a fair few albums under their belt(s) – and from the description I’ve given above, you can imagine just how many genres went into their various melting pots over the years. The mix of styles, slowly developing over songs, albums and years, really adds into the character they give off. They are something new (not in the literal sense). The new sounds they have (I swear I just heard an air-raid siren) really adds to the whole mood. Some quicker electronic beats add (again) to the mix. Always something new.
But what really makes it, as with all prog, is the progression of the melody lines. Each development slowly grows, shifts and slides it’s way through the music, merging together into something whole. They might add random noises and use weird samples but the actual music fits well together and works. The growth of the sound is what makes an album like this.
The highly instrumental style isn’t for those that like voice – I’d recommend this for fans of Explosions In The Sky, Errors, Mogwai or Godspeed, and those who maybe like a bit of lighter prog (see: Sigur Ros).