Death to Tyrants, “Untitled EP” 7-inch

cover - death to tyrants untitledWriting about instrumental post-rock is really one of the hardest things to do, which is a goddamn shame, because Death to Tyrants' new untitled 7-inch EP for Tor Johnson Records is absolutely wonderful. Maybe we'll just talk about that. How does that sound? Death to Tyrants work the whole hardcore angle of the various "post" genres more than anything else, but it's the way in which the group takes it on that really keeps me putting this back on the turntable for another go-around. Each song has a groove around which the entire song revolves, and to which everything returns time and time again, working as the backbone and framework for the whole piece. The way Death to Tyrants will then take that groove and rock a breakdown in the middle of it, and then start cycling through that on top of the original piece, and building both to a larger climax? It's astonishingly complex, and I wish I knew more about the band that put this out. When you hear the way "So Far Above Sea Level" builds and builds, and then just absolutely drops out to quiet, slow drums and a simple guitar melody backed by the faintest hint of dirge, before quietly fading out, you'll have your breath taken away. But ... for as musically interesting and arresting as this is, the artwork looks like a Paint Shop Pro job, circa 1999. Basic font, slightly pixelated photo, and what looks like an attempt at replicating a hand-stamped look on the labels. It sounds amazing, but looks cheap. You can get it from Tor Johnson on either blue swirl or black vinyl.