Sorcerer is the first full-length studio album from New York based duo Tonstartssbandht. The three-part record contains a brilliantly crafted mix of indie-rock and ambitious noise-rock paired with cleverly written vocals that are like poetry. Described as ‘a heavenly course above the storm and stress’ and available on Vinyl LP and CD.
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It’s kinda like these guys planned to make psych rock, forgot to do it, started making slowcore, got kinda tired of it and made jazz instead. I’m sorry: have I lost my threads? Tonstartssbandht are just a very interesting band of endless prepositions: unfortunately for them, their reward is mostly just a Can comparison, as opener “Breathe” swims proggily through prettiness, creating the kind of free-form ambient atmosphere best executed after a listen to ‘Future Days’.
Tonstartssbandht have lovely, aquatic guitar tones and feel it’s all they need to get their symphonies going: even when these pieces get noisier and more dissonant, it’s these lovely guitars and their simple, chiming riffs that keep the band afloat, the outro to “Breathe” getting jammy but never inaccessible. They move into “Sorcerer” with the same kind of bright, conversational psychedelia, the lead vocal mirroring the warmth of earlier Flaming Lips while stray chords build into a disarray of riffs and weird structural manoeuvres that feel a bit tangential to Genesis.
It’s only three songs but it’s a startlingly pretty mix of delicate improvisation and modest chaos. They’re a lot more fun to listen to than your average psych band and they suit your Sunday better than any other band. That makes them promising, in my books.
9/10 gbar Customer review, 13th December 2017
The two brothers (Andy and Edwin White) that make up Tonstartssbandht (that’s pronounced tahn-starts-bandit) have never been a band that have abandoned ship to unfounded territory, instead choosing to stay on course of their evolutionary style, maturing accurately over time. That's why ‘Sorcerer’, in it's three-track, 34-minute splendour, redefines expectations for what a Tonstartssbandht album can be. “Breathe” opens the album with such lovely, ambient and aquatic guitar tones and such simple, chiming riffs throughout its 11 minutes that it keep the band afloat, even when things get noisier and more dissonant.
They then move into the nine-minute title track with the same kind of bright psychedelia approach, with lead vocals that mirrors the warmth of Flaming Lips while the plethora of riffs and weird structural manoeuvres isn’t too far away from what Genesis were doing in the 1970s. The 13-minute finale “Opening" contains some of the album’s most engaging melodie and spirited playing. It purposely chooses not to head towards a calming finale with a bludgeoning, guitar-led bridge that forgoes psychedelic Rock for something more experimental-based. The sound and production of ‘Sorcerer’ isn’t the cleanest; it’s as ‘Lo-fi’ as you can probably get, as evidenced in “Opening”’s finale, where things start to get loud and raucous, they allow pretty much everything to start clipping halfway through, yet somehow they still manage to create such a compelling performance. Overall, “Sorcerer” plays out like a mini-epic, expertly utilising patience to emphasise their set-pieces, with swirling vocals conjuring up lyrics tied to fondness and warmth.
The fact that two players can pack this much sound and style into just three songs is a miracle in itself, as they create such a mesmerizingly pretty mix of delicate improvisation and modest chaos. Maybe that’s what makes this 35-minute journey worth experiencing.
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