Luna Kafé e-zine  Luna Kafé record review
coverpic flag Australia - Full Moon 159 - 09/04/09

Hidden Shoal Recordings

Tarcutta by Tarcutta is the debut album by this Melbourne threesome. And what a debut! Great music. Elegance, grandeur and majesty.

The opening, seven-and-a-half-minute long "Mount Bartle Frere" (named after the highest mountain in Queensland, at 1,622 m) is a masterpiece track, filled with intricate passages, turns and swirls. It's an ever-shifting mountain climber of a song, circling and taking off from green grass and safe ground into thin air and high altitudes (well, it's only 1,622 metres... anyway, I'm not all that cool with heights) -- and down again. "Liberace Fibonacci" is driven by juicy Hammond riffs, rough-loose drums and a nicer guitar. I really enjoyed the careful You Gotta Crawl Before You Walk Before You Waltz some moonths ago, and here it's a fitting piece, as one of Tarcutta's many exploring songs. Melodic journeys filled with both tension and looseness.

"Cicada Cycle" is the calm mid-piece, bringing everything all down at ease. "No Light No Shade" starts and goes on sounding quite similar, and is the sole track not being all instrumental, as it presents guest vocals from Jess Cornelius (of Teeth & Tongue). Well, I sort of find it a bit too slow, too 'blue'. Or, it might be the pair of the songs placed together. Nice vocals, though. "Glassed" is a tougher piece, and yet again we get to hear the superb tension-rising Tarcutta style. "Evan And Luna Take On The Coca-Cola Teenqueens Conspiracy And Kick Its Arse" (!) also starts out quite slow and easy, before it ends with an impressive riff'n'rhythm drive. Then comes the closing "Flaghags Must Die", which is my fave track along with the opening mountain song. This is an massive and way cool raw ending of the album.

Tarcutta is a delicious album, filled with excellent instrumental rock. Hats off to Justin Buckley (guitar), Peter Barrett (drums), and Justin Wheelahan (Hammond organ, piano). They balance the gentle with the raw close to perfect. Slightly progressive post-rock. And, it could be one of the albums of 2009. Top 20 at least.

Copyright © 2009 Håvard Oppøyen e-mail address

You may also want to check out our Tarcutta articles/reviews: Demo, You Gotta Crawl Before You Walk Before You Waltz.

© 2011 Luna Kafé