Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club. Because No News is Bad News.

CD Review: Tortoise 

Becaons of Ancestorship (Thrill Jockey)

Even though Tortoise has been active in the past few years — collaborating with Bonnie "Prince" Billy on a covers album and releasing a rarities collection — Beacons of Ancestorship is their first new batch of original tunes since 2004's It's All Around You. Though the band seem to pride themselves on pushing the envelope, Beacons of Ancestorship opens in approximately the same sonic space as their last album — namely, electronica. "High Class Slim Came Floatin' In" is a proggy eight-minute piece that thankfully isn't a harbinger of what's to come.

"Northern Something" is full of synthy blasts and driving drums, while "Gigantes" snuggles up next to techno and "Penumbra" sounds like something from an 8-bit Nintendo game. But, on tunes like "Prepare Your Coffin" and "Yinxianghechengqi," Tortoise seem intent on shattering their post-rock chains: The former sounds tailor-made for the urgent vocals of Michael Stipe circa 1983, while the latter sounds a bit like Detroit scuzz outfit the Dirtbombs. "Monument Six One Thousand" seems straight out of the '90s house scene, while "de Chelly" could be a lost Wendy Carlos composition. The album's got traditional Tortoise tracks like the meandering "The Fall of Seven Diamonds Plus One" and the mysterious "Minors." But Tortoise never really seem comfortable retreading their past glories, and the few moments they do that here are the most forgettable. —Willets

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at news@clevescene.com.

Cleveland Scene works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Cleveland and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Cleveland's true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

September 9, 2020

View more issues

Most Popular

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Calendar

Staff Pick Events

  • Open Turntable Tuesday @ The Winchester

    • Tuesdays

© 2020 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 241-7550
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.


Website powered by Foundation