Friday, November 25, 2011

Review: Ornament Tournaments - Tacheles

Ornament Tournaments, with an excellent name which rolls off the tongue, have released their debut album Tacheles, and it’s a corker of of an introduction to the three-piece from Horsham. Last month I interviewed the band, talking about the album, the band, and all sorts of other good stuff. You can read the interview here

The record starts with ‘Crab Face’, which is reminiscent of melodic punk bands such as The Attika State and Grown Ups. This is true for most of the album, with jangly, twinkly guitars aplenty and math pop playing a heavy influence in their sound. ‘Flower’, which was previously an exclusive download from Musical Mathematics, is a familiar favourite. The extra instrumentation on the song adds welcome depth to what is arguably the best song of the record.

Then we move on to ‘Bungee Scream’, which - suggested by its title - starts with a bang, and then as quickly slows down and vocal harmonies come into play. This is before it erupts into a gang-vocal, riff-tastic segment interjected by the classic ‘parappa’ moment, and then concluded with syncopated riffs and glockenspiels.

‘Brass Buttons’ goes for a different approach, with a more conventional alt pop rock sound. Keep in mind that when I say ‘conventional’ here, I mean it in a relative sense compared to the other songs. ‘Avoid it’ slows the pace down slightly with its vocal harmonies and alternating quiet-loud-quiet structure. 

Title song ‘Tacheles’ is surprisingly not representative of the whole album. It’s a fine, slow-burning instrumental piece that’s maybe too short for its own good, and probably would’ve served better as an introduction or a closer. I would love to hear this song fleshed out more, because it deserves its own explosive climax.

Alas, ‘Tacheles’ is not a closer, ‘Alas’ is. At five minutes and seven seconds, it’s by far the longest in the album, and it uses that length well. Meandering guitars, driving basslines, tight drumming and woo-ohs are put to excellent use. 

Tacheles by ornamenttournaments

It’s an excellent record, and at ₤3, is an absolute bargain. Get it, listen to it, love it. I know I did.  

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