Theendisthebeginning - Tropics
- Artist: Theendisthebeginning
- EP: Tropics
- Label: The Brown Noise/Chupee Records
- Year of Release: 2011
- ME Rating:
- Reviewed by: mark_morton on 2011-09-30
- Tropics (audio) High
Upon an initial observation, TROPICS reminds of the (rare) tender moments of Living Colour and the long-lost drive and passion of 1980s-era U2, blended with the expansive atmospheric grace of Peter Gabriel. The opening title track is very dreamlike, with its percussion and guitar effects playing off one another like the ebbing and flowing of an ocean tide. The gentle glide of the song's progression make you feel like you are wading in an ethereal pool, drifting somewhere between the planes of reality and surreality.
TROPICS develops like a TOTAL RECALL-ish vacation of the mind, unfolding like the multi-hued serenity of a Tangerine Dream record. I wouldn't exactly call this soft rock, because it doesn't ooze mushy, gooey, sentimental pop tripe. It would be more appropriate to describe Theendisthebeginning as "transcendental rock" - music that entices the listener to snuggle up to the walls within his/her own mind.
And yet, the band edits itself with such dexterous thoughtfulness that each passage says just enough without veering off into a neo-progressive wasteland that would ultimately result in a 10+-minute voyage into mind-numbing, uber-expositional, musical masturbation.
A generalist may describe the band as derivative of Blue October's light-weight pomp; though Theendisthebeginning does not suffer from Blue October's penchant for pop formulaic-ness. Slow-to-mid tempos are the band's forte, which often induce a romantic ambience.
The Bob Ross-colored soundscape-ness of the songs elevates the band beyond a pigeon-holed box. The band's ability to treat each song like a painting could serve it well for movie soundtrack work, should it align with the right publishing agent. The metaphysical, cerebral design of Theendisthebeginning's compositions would lend itself quite naturally in the David Lynch / David Cronenberg / Darren Aronofsky circuit.
Although only an EP, TROPICS packs so much of a time-out-of-time musical punch, that it conjures memories of New Wave's past with the unknown future of guitar-and-keyboard-laden rock.
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