The second post looking back at this year's Thrill Jockey releases after yesterday's Mountains post is that of Brokeback and the Black Rock, the sixth album from Chicago instrumentalists Brokeback. The longstanding project of Tortoise's Douglas McCombs, Brokeback is a much heftier beast this time around with an established band in tow, and the results are outstanding. An overarching rustic charm persists, dust blown melancholy in a postmodern Morricone age. This is evident from opener 'Will Be Arriving' and continues right through to the excellent 11 minute closer 'Colossus of Roads', and whilst there are elements that echo heavily from McCombs' decades long foray into free-range instrumentation with Tortoise (and McCombs' unmistakable bass is prevalent throughout), this is a much more guitar-oriented experience. It's an incredibly solid release, benefiting from years of practice and touring before laying down these tracks (with the able assistance of Tortoise alum John McEntire). It's the kind of Western meltdown that takes the mind onto dark, desperate plains, filled with tension, reverb and the slightest hint of menace. A great instrumental record.
Grab Brokeback and the Black Rock here.