RADVENT Day 21: Totorro’s “Home Alone”

For the first 24 days of December, Radio in Opposition and guests will share with you one very special album, one day at a time. We call it RADVENT.

We’re nearing the end of a super exciting RADVENT and today’s choice comes from Kenny Eaton, guitarist of Maryland’s Time Columns, who are currently in the studio working on a new full-length.

As a “Math Rock” band nowadays, it’s so easy to get caught in the trap of focusing solely on rhythmic elements and odd time signatures while letting other equally, if not more important compositional elements like melody and harmony take a back seat. The first time I heard Totorro’s “Home Alone”, I was floored by how well the band manages to fit simple, concise and downright beautiful melodies into such rhythmically complex figures and relatively short (for post-rock) songs. The second track “Chevalier Bulltoe” is the one that got me hooked for good. You can hear allusions to American Football’s clean guitars and melodramatic chord changes, but there is an intensity and implied heaviness that can be compared to modern groups like Toe, Lite and Town Portal. Very rarely does this band step on the distortion, but when they do – it’s a moment. It’s also worth mentioning that the production quality of this release is superb – the soundscape has a clean, tight and polished feel that really suits the complexity and depth of the band’s instrumentation.

As a full-time producer/recording engineer, the last thing I want to do at the end of the day is to go home and listen to new music just because typically my ears are fried by that point and silence literally feels good. That said, I’ve been listening to this album almost every day after work for a couple months simply because it feels so fresh and clean. I give my highest praises to this album and this band. There’s something in here for everyone.