Teith - Humboldt Park - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Teith - Humboldt Park

by Andy Brown Rating:7 Release Date:2013-01-29

Pelican guitarist Trevor de Brauw brings his expertise to Teith's first full-length release, the Chicago-referencing Humboldt Park. The band has already drawn favourable comparisons to the likes of Swans in some quarters yet their sound falls into a more traditional post-rock mould for me, albeit with passages of bludgeoning intensity that Mr Gira would no doubt approve of.

Things kick off with the charmingly titled 'Build Me a Tower and Give Me a Gun'. The track is a euphorically noisy slice of post-rock with a propulsive and fuzz-laden bassline perfectly complimented by some Stuart Braithwaite-worthy guitar. The second track, 'This Buffalo Wings Café is a Wi-Fi Hotspot', sounds like the kind of title Braithwaites' Mogwai would have come up with too. The track itself bears more than a passing resemblance to the noise loving Glaswegians, but what instrumental rock band of the last 18 years doesn't (answers on a postcard please).

'Table of Tourettes' has a few moments of calm before lunging into the album's most satisfyingly heavy riff. This then fades away into a passage of haunted voices and atmospheric drones. By the time a menacing bassline emerges from the confusion the band has built up an admirable level of sonic intensity. It's on this track in particular that Teith's fusion of epic soundscapes and good old fashioned noise works the best. 'Don't Obfuscate Me' has fewer surprises, less gear shifts to keep you guessing and ultimately doesn't stand out as much. All is not lost, however, as 13-minute closing beast 'Friends of Italian Opera' piques my interest with its suitably cinematic sprawl and dramatic dynamics.

Overall, Teith have made a pretty great album which works all the better when it plays against expectations. The sonic leaps made on tracks like 'Table of Tourettes' draw you in and there are certainly enough ideas within these five tracks to make you wonder what they will do next. Unfortunately, I read somewhere that the album is actually comprised of old recordings and that the band parted ways a few years ago. Oh well, as a closing statement to a short lived career Teith's Humboldt Park is a frustratingly intriguing listen.

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