Tommy Guerro has had an impressively varied career up to this point. He’s been a pro-skater, a shoe / jeans designer, an actor, an art director… Also a musician. With Perpetual he felt like embracing the limitations of an old tape machine, Nebraska-style, which lends these 16 songs an extra atmosphere. On Grand Palais / Modulor.
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- Perpetual by Tommy Guerrero
8/10 Robin Staff review, 10 November 2015
I don’t seem to recall there being a referendum titled “Should every album now be made by an ex pro-skater?” but apparently such a law has passed onto our shores, and now everyone’s gonna be making music only as a follow-up to their failed four-wheeled dream. While Duane Pitre has just finished another chapter of his drone series, though, sk8rboi Tommy Guerrero is making a laid back, instrumental groove pop after a completely different style: downbeat, twilit and politely melodic, ‘Perpetual’ is the sound of a surf band too high to get off your sofa.
Starting with a lilting slice of Yo La Tengo comfort pop, the record turns towards echoing, reverb-soaked riffage, rarely mustering the strength to get towards a motorway tempo. Rather, these are all delicate and measured pieces of psych pop -- beats never climax, threatening to on “Battles of the Forgotten” before the song instead reaches for a cadence, ready for bedtime. Judging by the tone he’s captured with this record, I think Tommy Guerrero is shipping his favourite surf records with the collected works of Chris Isaak.
These are nice guitar jams, framed with simplicity: the rhythm never takes focus, and Guerrero keeps each tune brief, refusing to create glaringly repetitive music like his forebears. Dig it, please -- else he’ll just get a new hobby, and be good at that too.
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