Drums and Tuba | Battles Ole

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Rock: Progressive Rock Rock: Punk Moods: Featuring Drums
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Battles Ole

by Drums and Tuba

Battles Olé,Drums & Tuba's third album on Righteous Babe Records, captures the band at its most intense, building impenetrable sonic walls only to smash them to bits like a hyperactive child who has grown tired of his toys.
Genre: Rock: Progressive Rock
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Tracks

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1. Two Dollars
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7:44 album only
2. Four Notes of April
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7:01 album only
3. The Parting Surface
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6:25 album only
4. Magnum Opie
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10:33 album only
5. If I Die
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6:54 album only
6. Complicated Sorrow
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4:28 album only
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Tension. It's a key ingredient in music that strives to be epochal, music that doesn't just tug at your emotions, it bottles them up and carbonates them, gently adding pressure until they explode all over your shirt. It also tends to instigate great art. Battles Olé, Drums & Tuba's third album on Righteous Babe Records, captures the band at its most intense, building impenetrable sonic walls only to smash them to bits like a hyperactive child who has grown tired of his toys.

Everyone from Beethoven to Led Zeppelin knew how to maximize dramatic potential. The NYC-based ensemble of drums (Tony Nozero), tuba (Brian Wolff) and guitar (Neal McKeeby) continues in this tradition, giving a clinic on the art of tension and release - which wasn't purely a musical exercise. After a decade of rigorous touring and artistic pressure, the band had hit a wall, and after hearing Nozero's take, it's plain that the tension on Battles Olé is art imitating life. "We were desperately trying to find ourselves musically again. It felt like a final gasp. At so many times during this two-year process, we were reaching places that were very uncomfortable."

Despite these trials and tribulations, the band soldiered on, creating a landmark record in the process. Battles Olé features the appearance of an instrument that had been foreign to D&T records - the human voice. On the ambitious opening track, "Two Dollars," Nozero adds his impassioned, Johnny Rotten snarl to a song that is painstakingly built over the course of several minutes. The track slowly grows from a landscape of wispy, robotic noises to a slick, heist-movie groove, gaining momentum with every bar. The vocals just add to this sense of restlessness, until the tension finally explodes, in a volcanic blaze of power chords. This refreshing burst of simplicity sends "Two Dollars" into the stratosphere, lending true significance to Drums & Tuba's mad studio concoctions.

With Battles Olé, this self-proclaimed "rock band" has managed to harness its inner turmoil, expanding on the infectiously bizarre formula of its two previous RBR releases, Vinyl Killer (2001) and Mostly Ape (2002). The nuts and bolts are still there: Wolff's guttural, funky tuba lines and soaring trumpet harmonies, McKeeby's acrobatic axe stabs and impeccably odd scale choices, and Nozero's steady bombast. The difference here is the songwriting, which is a direct result of the band's unhealthy addiction to performing live - D&T rips through over 200 shows a year, replicating their intricate compositions via a jungle of samplers and pedals. The buoyancy of Mostly Ape is gone, in favor of looming storms in songs like "Magnum Opie." It's a foreboding mix of staccato tuba hits, guitar noodling and otherworldly oohs and ahhs, a 10-minute voyage into dim caverns and inky twilights. It might be the band's bravest step yet, because its shadowy tunnels have a glorious destination: a frenetic, key-punishing organ solo that slams a happy ending on an otherwise gothic tale.

Drums & Tuba has always dared to make music that's full of tension - and this time around, what almost killed them has most definitely made them stronger. On Battles Olé, there's a bustle in the hedgerow, but don't be alarmed now - this is a listening experience of epic proportions.


Reviews


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Kyber

good yes mmm so good
lyrics and thought out ones to boot. me thinks me liking, will have to confirm this when their here in Austin Oct 30th if i'm remembering correctly.

mATTEO


GREAT!

Flytox

Intense, plain, sonic and mindful... A must-listen !
What a change! I just knew about Vinyl Killer so far, but now I definitely need to listen to the 2nd lp, as the evolution of the musical field brouhgt me to immerge entirely into this soundscape, whereas VK mainly attracted curiosity for a band that could replace bass guitar by such unusual instruments as tuba or trombone, so exotic in a rock band... Battles Ole takes you instantly into a bubble of sounds, mixes contrasts and emotions, so much so that it is definitely impossible to just listen to this cd like any ordinary, pleaseant musical background : it possesses you like Godspeed! or Mogwai-like bands would do.

Pyro Lizard

This band is amazing live!
I purchased this CD after seeing Drums and Tuba live, opening for Primus. They had an amazing energy, and I really enjoyed their performance. The CD is equally as enjoyable, with the last three songs being my favorite.

A very good band overall, and one that I hope to see again live.

g holman

great
good. not sure about vocals. sound like Psychedelic Furs

Anthony

Very original incorporating tuba into rock perfectly.
The CD was excellent, I've heard all the other albums, loved the idea of adding vocals, although I wish some songs had more steady/catchy vocals, like in Four Notes of April, but it was still great, the 10 minute instrumental was awesome. I love the way they make use of loop samplers and effect pedals etc. The drums are very tight with the tuba, locks in real well, just like a bass with drums... The drummer's great, and the singer's voice on the album fits the music perfectly. I saw them live in New Jersey, would see them again if they came back, and will buy the next album if it has vocals. (This is the first album I haven't illegally downloaded since Incubus's A Crow Left of the Murder came out).