Tusk has long been a side project of the more and more highly esteemed band Pelican, but is much heavier and includes vocals at times. On The Resisting Dreamer, the normal members of Tusk are joined by Evan Patterson (Young Widows, Black Cross, Breather Resist, A National Acrobat) and Toby Driver (Kayo Dot).
The Resisting Dreamer is meant to be one long song that Tusk has split into the four tracks for easier consumption and LP configuration. The opening salvo, "Everlasting Taste of Disguise," is recognizably touched by Patterson's vocals and guitar work; but, it also has at times atmospheric sections of music that trade with these really groovy pieces and discordant movements that all nicely contrast with each other. "Cold Twisted Aisle" is the second track on the CD version of the release, and it starts off real slow and discordant with crashes of noise and what sounds like inaudible or barely audible vocals; it lends a suffocating or claustrophobic feeling (at least that is what I feel) to the music. The vocals are real bizarre and can be disturbing, particularly with the broken tempo and weird timing that the music morphs into from the beginning; it sounds like its coming apart at the hinges before the culmination in strange waves of calming sound that bleed into the next track.
This is the opening of "Life's Denial," a much more calm and focused affair that allows the listener to recover from the noise and volume of its predecessor; there is a present melody with the lead guitar that dominates a large portion of the track before a bass backed noise section takes over the focus of the song (which is helped by some real severe black metal-esque vocals). The closing movement of The Resisting Dreamer, "Lewdness and Frenzy of Surrender," is born in the end of its preceding track with the aforementioned black metal-esque vocals while that eventually gives way to a seeming oscillation of noise that is oddly soothing. Somewhere a rhythmic drum beat begins to slowly bring things back to a more conventional song structure as the drums seemingly wrestle the other instruments back in line, at least for a few moments before the song collapses in a whirlwind of noise and finally a tentative sounding and ominous quiet rumination.
Tusk slam down an excellent record that bests anything that the band has done previously as well as catapults them into fine standing. I wholly prefer The Resisting Dreamer to the last Pelican full- length, City of Echoes, and hope to see more of this challenging work from the group. It definitely closes 2007 on a strong note, although the vinyl version does come out in 2008.
7.7 / 10
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