Often pushing toward ambient, the Tremulants’ latest release Bink! definitely holds the tether to pop but likes to extend its reach. The band brings to mind several contemporary reference points but if we go back a little further into the post-new wave more-alternate-than-alternate rock in the late 80s or early 90s like the Pixies and Ween and add an indie prime spin of bands like Pavement, even Modest Mouse, the Tremulants emerge with a sound their own.
Lead singer Marco Holt definitely has a Frank Black pre-Catholics hue to his vocals. And I definitely dig the garage pop sound matched in both his voice and guitar.
The instruments are used within the Tremulants less in a traditional sense of “making music” and instead appear to “make noise” that is then shaped by the band into music through combination and placement. The effect is a neo-psychedelic experience of sound as color in their new album Bink!
For example, violinist Russell Kaskalla Jr. moves erratically adding sounds effects rather than the easy-to-follow melodies one might expect from a more conventional act, even providing a dead-ringer for a Karen O-tirade on one track.
Bassist (who also provides “dance” for the Tremulants) Maritess Valesquez gives the band a strangely befitting surf sound while Jaymz Todd adds the iconic keys and machine-produced effects. Somehow Garrett Thomas contains the band on drums to something ordered without, I fear, the others might wander off into the ether of sounds and we might not see them for weeks at a time. People can starve.
This is yet another of the stellar releases we’ve seen (and expect to see) from Valley label Black Cactus Records who released another YabYum favorite this year with the Necronauts’ Gauche et Droite released last September.
Tonight, the Tremulants are releasing Bink! at the Hard Rock Cafe with Former Friends of Young Americans, the Necronauts and Amen Cowboy playing also. The show is $8 and starts at 7 PM so if you’re reading this on publication day, get out to the show tonight. If you’re reading it afterward, you missed the release but not the boat. Get album and get out to a show!