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Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
We Want Action

Rating: 7/10 ?

October 1, 2004

By the end of this descriptive paragraph, you will know whether or not you could like Mortimur's music. Mortimur plays multi-textured instrumental post-rock. They put as much emphasis on melody as they do on dissonance. Each instrumentalist of the trio plays with a seemingly incongruous rhythm and tempo. The drummer varies his punches from frenetic blasts to subdued pops, the guitars weave in and out of each other sometimes piling rhythm upon rhythm. When it works, it sounds like atonal jazz freestyle fed through a rock group or a Dadaist post-hardcore jam. There are undeniable influences of Don Cabellero, Slint, Fugazi, Godspeed You Black Emperor and Tortoise.

The mention of an instrumental post-rock will stop some dead in their tracks, and truth be told, it's not for everyone, especially those with a short attention span and a jones for hooks. So, with only a small demographic, it's easy to say the group's in it for the love and not the glory. A respectable path, of course, but some chops to back up the love are always nice.

Mortimur have a flair for the dramatic, but also know when to cut the noodling shit and rock out. All tracks have a bit of both tendencies. Tracks like "Valley of the Foothills" build slowly to a near sonic breakdown, only to ease off a bit and go all mellow; then, we ultimately return to a crash and a boom, some angry instrumentation, and a finale.

While there are those moments when interest slips and wanes, unlike a lot of instrumental bands, the group does not rely too much on hypnotic repetition and droning guitars. With other bands, those moments put half the potential fan base right to sleep. With Mortimur, there's a lot more unpredictability and tempo shifts to keep the listener on his or her toes. If you've got the time and the patience, the group can offer something different than the usual run of the mill instrumental rock outfit.

Reviewed by Dan Williams
A staff writer based in Brooklyn, New York, Dan Williams is a frequent contributor to LAS magazine. He once lived in Köln, Germany for a semester, is currently persuing his MBA in New York, and recently switched sides and began working as a publicist for Special Ops Media in New York.

See other reviews by Dan Williams



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