Come To Mexico is Totorro‘s follow-up to their beloved debut LP Home Alone, which is known to the authorities as a common gateway drug to get people hooked on mathy post-rock. This new album is one of the major releases this year – literally: There is not a single track in a minor key. It’s the happiest record I’ve listened to in a while.
It is a continuation in style for the French quartet. They started out playing rough post-metal instrumentals on their first two EPs, and then went on creating their unique blend of uplifting melodies, roaring guitars and a good sense of tricky rhythms. With 11 brand new tracks Totorro now flourish in a niche of post-rock that is unapologetically positive and optimistic; that is invigorating and epic not just because it could also work as an ambient movie soundtrack, but simply because it is sooo fun to listen to.
The songs on Come To Mexico are not overly complicated, so as not to keep you from involuntarily bopping around to the beat, though a fine connoisseur of math rock will notice the occasional polyrhythmic section and frequent changes in time signature. There is also only so much one can do when your principle is to write songs exclusively in a major key, and the band is willing to come off as a little repetitive from time to time, but what sounds like imposed limitation of creativity is, in the end, the most appealing quality of the album. It’s the commitment to positivity and spiritedness that makes Totorro and their records stand out so much, in a genre that oftentimes focuses a lot more on sadness and grave melancholy.
Luckily the good guys at Big Scary Monsters recognized their talent and signed Totorro after ArcTanGent 2016, which finally makes their records readily available on CD and even vinyl. Hopefully this also means more tours: I can imagine blissfully dancing and singing to Come To Mexico amidst like-minded fans infecting each other with happiness. Have I stressed enough how sanguine this record sounds? It is making me smile incessantly on my daily commute, and trust me, that has got to count for something.