The first time I ever listened to Tuber was on a desert/post rock festival on a beach near Kavala. We were half sitting – half lying on recliners at night, drinking cheap wine, eating fried anchovies and joking around, then suddenly I exclaimed to the FKing, “isn’t what we’re listening to fucking awesome!?”, to which he replied “meh, not really into it”. I asked him why and he said “instrumental music, you know, bores me”. I consider myself lucky enough to not belong in the group of soulless human beings that fall asleep with instrumental music, so I instantly grew to like the song I was hearing at the time and thoroughly enjoyed the rest of Tuber’s setlist. Unfortunately, I also promptly forgot the band name… until about a week later when a friend posted on facebook the song that had grabbed my attention at the live.
That live was for their first album, self-titled Tuber, which is a nice album on its own, if a bit formulaic, and it’s been in my playlist for quite a while. But what came next is on a completely different level, both musically and technically. This is a review of their second album, Desert Overcrowded, that, according to their Bandcamp, was released early December 2013. So while its not exactly oh-shiny new, its awesome enough to warrant a review with a 6 month delay. Also it’s pretty new for me, as I’ve just finished my mandatory army service, which the “mandatory” and “service” parts make a bit of a bummer, but when you get back out in society after that, you have all these cool new albums to listen to.
The first song I heard of this album, Firebird, had me thinking they totally shifted gears at some point and attempted to pull off a Karma to Burn thing. I was even more convinced when Last Drop came up. Fortunately, Tuber kept their bearings and stayed true to the melodies that made their first album such a treat. Tracks like Desert Overcrowded and Sucker Punch dispel any doubt of that, while also being heavy enough to not go unnoticed. The album is thoroughly enjoyable with its combination of groovy riffs and captivating melodies. The tracks are mostly long, as I think all good instrumental music has to be, otherwise it doesn’t really deserve being labeled as music, because then it’s just the opening of a song somebody didn’t write, and is it really ethical to be condoning laziness?
Going into this album, I thought that Tuber were a post rock band that used desert rock elements to sound groovy and attain that fabled “grittiness”. Though they sound more like the endless sand dunes type of desert, rather than rocky saguaro wasteland, they have revealed that they are actually firstly a desert rock band that round off their grittiness with some soft post rock sounds, which made them even more awesome in my mind. I can’t really place why, but even though the album was released in the middle of winter, listening to it reminds me that summer has just started.