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(44:57, El Tubo Elastico)
TRACK LIST: 1. Pandora 6:50 2. Camaleon 7:34 3. Ispra I 5:48 4. Ispra II 3:09 5. Rojo 7:10 6. El Enjambre 8:14 7. Vampiros y Gominolas 6:12 LINEUP: Alfonso Romero - bass, synthesizers Carlos Cabrera - drums, percussion Dani Gonzalez - guitars, synthesizers Vizen Rivas - guitars, synthesizers
Prolusion. Spanish band EL TUBO ELASTICO was originally formed back in the late 1990's as a cover band, gradually developing their own brand of progressive rock and then entering a state of hiatus in 2007 without ever releasing any official material. The band returned to action with a revised line-up in 2012, and in 2015 they self-released their self-titled debut album.
Analysis. This Spanish foursome have chosen to specialize in instrumental progressive rock, and they have made a rather good job at creating a style of music where they really do enter landscapes not all that commonly explored by others. As is often the case with such bands, designating them to any firm and fixed position in the progressive rock universe is a challenging task, although I see other people have opted for post-rock more often than not. In my view that is a part of a greater totality here though, as this band is more than a post-rock band, and one that may not have all that broad of an appeal in that environment either. El Tubo Elastico does use textured sounds throughout this album, and as such they do merit to be mentioned in a post-rock context. For me this comes across as more of a flavoring than a focal point though, so to speak, and where I find that the band have it's heart and soul is arguably in math rock. Not that math rock as such is a defining trait either, but the songs does tend to revolve around rather fixed patterns of the kind that does give associations towards mathematical precision. Hence why my opinion is that this is the basis for the style of this band. Where they deviate from the norm in that department is, of course, in the frequent use of resonating tones and effects, just as often with a psychedelic and at times even cosmic vibe as in more textures and post-rock oriented ethereal landscapes. The band are also fond of tight and quirkier plucked guitar driven interludes that occasionally comes with something of an early 80's Crimsonian vibe to them. In essence, a lot is going on here, and the greater majority of the compositions here twists, shifts and turns on a rather constant basis. Personally I didn't really find this album to be all that captivating however. While there are numerous details to digest and material that appears as impressive on a technical level, with a sharp and clear mix and production that highlight all the individual details in a well made manner, there's nothing here that really and truly grabs my interest. We have many build ups and searching phases, but without a nerve that maintains tension, and without a captivating, concluding payout sequence that demands your full attention. Which for me at least adds up to an album that will have more of an niche audience than a broad and widespread possible fan base.
Conclusion. El Tubo Elastico have created their own small niche within the progressive rock universe with this self-titled and self-released debut album. Quirky and complex music is the name of the game here, and if you could imagine a math rock band having a go at the music of Ozric Tentacles or vice versa, then you won't be all that far off from imagining the sounds and atmospheres of this Spanish foursome. If that description comes across as alluring for you, then this is an album that you most likely should find to be a rewarding experience.
Progmessor: August 17, 2017
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