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  Spine and Sensory  
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Today i am reviewing Post-Rock albums. In order, the reviews are:

  1. Gwei-lo by Gwei-lo
  2. Spine and Sensory by Tristeza
  3. Goodbye Enemy Airship The Landord Is Dead by Do Make Say Think
It might make sense to read these in order. Or not. You choose!

Tristeza are a Post-Rock band in the tradition of Mogwai, only with a little bit of jazz thrown in.

I have listened to this CD over and over. I like it. As far as this type of stuff goes it's pretty good. The songs flow together well, and each has a nice groove.

Sometimes i notice a lack of vocals as a gaping, and obviously consciously planned, hole in a band's music. Not so with Tristeza -- their songs are rich and full enough without the addition of vocals. "You've got an organ going there. No wonder the sound has so much body," states the sample in the Extended Overhaul remix of DJ Shadow's Organ Donor. I think that's it. The organ drones layered behind the guitars add just that extra little bit of depth that makes this album just a little better than some of its peers.

Another thing that i like about Tristeza is that they obviously listen to their Felt. That is, at times the guitars reach that really light almost classical style of arpeggio that typified the 80's New Wave band Felt. Really cool, and, if you know anything about playing the guitar, really durn complicated. Obviously, these Tristeza people know what the heck they are doing. It shows through in a non-"hey look at me aren't i great" sort of way. That's a good thing in my book.

The album also displays a lot of diversity. From the Felt-like meanderings of Golden Hill to the dub of RMS 2000 to the hard drone of When We Glow Tristeza are able to mix a wide variety of sounds together into one seamless whole. I can imagine that live they really jam out.

My verdict: a well-balanced Post-Rock album that doesn't need vocals because the song textures are full enough on their own. Fans of the genre will like it a lot. For everyone else, it's still pretty much some interesting background noise.

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  Move on to Part 3 of this Three Part Review.  

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