(Deathbomb Arc, 2013)
Has anyone ever heard of something called “noise rock?” (Just kidding).
In seriousness though, Lherbuchsuite by Turbine has been my first full experience with the genre, and it’s been a strange ride. The album is so different from the music I normally listen to that I don’t even really have a context in which I can make my thoughts on it understood, so I’ll try to sum up my thoughts in a series of word pictures:
- Water ski
- Senator Clay Davis
Ok, I think that pretty much covers everything. End of review.
Sorry. Different circumstances have arisen over the past couple of weeks which have conspired to make me, at this moment, more sleep-deprived and mentally fatigued than I’ve been since I first experienced the ultimate culture shock of being born some 21 years ago.
That said, perhaps it was an error in judgment to start listening in earnest to Lherbuchsuite by Turbine in my current state of mind. If you’ve ever seen the movie Scanners, you’ll have a pretty good idea of what my head felt like as I began my bumbling trek through the album for the first time.
The first song on the album is “aababa,” which starts us off with a disorienting synth riff in the style of Dark Side of the Moon’s “On the Run.” That’s only the intro though, and is quickly dropped in favor of a simple guitar riff which slowly speeds up over the course of several repetitions. Most notable in the song are the drums, brought to us by Brian Miller from Foot Village AND Ricky Wayne Garrett from Inferno of Joy. I wouldn’t call the drumming tour-de-force, but I will say that if it wasn’t there, the song would be a lot less listenable.
The third track on the album, “çocuk,” begins with a shrill, piercing synth-whistle, followed by a slow, ominous build-up featuring eclectic drumbeats and guitar, with somebody whistling slowly in the background. Gradually, the meandering instruments begin to form full tunes and beats, although not necessarily in sync with one another.
Track 4, “export playground,” is my favorite song from the album. It sounds almost like a Sigur Rós B-side in many ways. Sounds of children playing in the background; a very slow and simple melody … a surprisingly peaceful song from an album that has heretofore relied on grating sounds of clashing or atonal instruments.
Taking this music in on little or no sleep over the past week or so has been an interesting experience. More interesting (to me anyway) than the actual album itself. Not having many familiar handholds for me to grab onto, I was left to fend for myself and decipher the album as best I could. My favorite track is definitely “export playground,” with “aababa” coming in second. The middle two are ok, but I wouldn’t listen to them outside the context of the album.
When I first began listening to music passionately, I was like a newborn babe, observing with wonder a world which had been all around me my whole life, but I’d never even suspected its presence. The further I dug into music, the more layers I found. Some, when I found them, were overwhelming to me at first, and a bit frightening. When I first listened to Trophy Scars’ Hospital Music for the Aesthetics of Language, for instance, I put it down and didn’t touch it again for almost a year. Not because it was bad, but because I was completely out of my depth. I had never listened to any hardcore or post-hardcore music in my life. What even was this music? Why were these sounds strung together? And why did they work so well? I had no answers. Eventually, Trophy Scars went on to become one of my most cherished bands, alongside legends such as Pink Floyd and Cannonball Adderley.
I can’t possibly know where Turbine will eventually land in my hierarchy of music. I don’t know if or when I’ll be revisiting this album in the future. One thing, however, I am absolutely certain of: Lherbuchsuite has been a new and interesting experience for me, and it has had an effect on me. It’s a symphony of discord, which is not a new concept, but I’d say they pull it off pretty well. I suggest you give this album a spin and see what it has to offer.