It’s been a bit of a hiatus for Belgium’s True Champions Ride On Speed. It did feel like their 2010 self-titled debut was pushing a lot of the familiar instrumental rock buttons. Yet at the same time there was a compelling sense of disparity between the guitar and bass lines across the album, and there was evidently something unique and refreshing in the blueprints. Its cover, which looked much like a Michelangelo portrait walking around Mars, suggested what we were all probably thinking listening to TCROS: we were actually a long way from anything familiar.
Weder Onder (‘Neither Under’) marks the revival of TCROS, and serves as a perfect reintroduction package to their sound. The palindrome opener ‘Un Feuneuf Nu’ re-introduces TCROS as a band with strong sense of instrumental narrative. ‘Jizz Jazz’ re-introduces the complex interplay between guitar and bass that is pertinent to TCROS’ sound. The gritty distortion of ‘Onderweder’ reintroduces the heavy backbone of TCROS, and reminds its listeners that underneath the pervasive melody there is still a raw fury.
Weder Onder is much darker and brooding than its self-titled predecessor. The chord progressions are jagged and discordant, the bass tone is conspicuously abrasive, and the atmosphere is very uncomfortable. However, the motifs of yester-year are most certainly instilled in this release, which will no doubt appease the 2010 clientele whilst enticing a new legion of listeners. It’s been well worth the wait.
Post rock, math rock, distortion, dark, instrumental
Sounds A Tad Like
Town Portal, Russian Circles, Mental Architects
Name Your Vincent Price for digital; €12 for 12″ vinyl (Bandcamp)