I’ll be honest, my initial thought when I put on the opening track from “Dream in Tongues” – ‘Miniature Habitats’ – was “man, how jaunty is this?”
From then on, I have been impressed with the light, breezy nature of this album. From the opening moments of ‘Miniature Habitats’, filled with guitars and glockenspiel, through to the fading guitars and weird outtakes of ’ahs a vahs a vae’, this album is full of fun and life. It is wonderfully airy and upbeat instrumental post rock piece of music and acts as the perfect antithesis of the recent albums from Fluttery Records by Beneath the Watchful Eyes and Sleepstream. This is not to decry any of the bands mentioned – all are tremendous in their own way – but to demonstrate the contrast in approach & expression … “Dream in Tongues” by Arms of Tripoli is the kind of album I’d listen to whilst driving about a sunny California in an old classic convertible with the top down. This is an upbeat album for upbeat times.
While “Dream in Tongues” may lack some of the more innovative touches of its label-mates, Arms of Tripoli more than make up for this with their math-rock timing and tautness as a band. This band is tight and deploys some decidedly energetic timing on their album.
Their use of recording ’outtakes’ and emergency service radio helps to break up the album. Whilst possibly not to everyone’s taste, the quirky ’outtakes’ before & after a few of the songs add to the fun of the recording.
In giving this album an upbeat, breezy feel Arms of Tripoli have attempted to prick the perceived pomposity of the post rock genre and breathe some new life into what is a treasured expression. Post rock, as a genre, is broadening and Arms of Tripoli are thankfully part of this evolution.
I really did enjoy this album albeit I listened to the majority of it on foot walking round a bitterly cold & grey Glasgow. It is an ideal Spring / Summer album, with nothing too heavy or ’out there’ to dull the lazy days mood.
I would heartily recommend it to fans of instrumental and post rock.