Tangled Thoughts Of Leaving -
Yield To Despair

(CD 2015, 69:30, Bird's Rope Records BRR051)

The tracks:
  1- The Albanian Sleepover - Part One(9:59)
  2- The Albanian Sleepover - Part Two(12:01)
  3- Shaking Off Futility(13:18)
  4- Downbeat(18:47)
  5- Yield To Despair(15:23)

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Tangled Thoughts Of Leaving is an Australian band that finds its residence in the city of Perth. Being founded in 2009 TTOL remained consistent in their line-up; being piano and synth player Ron Pollard, guitarist Andrew McDonald, bass player and sampler Luke Pollard and drummer/noise producer Behn Stacey. The instrumental music these gentlemen produce can be described as progressive rock, but their second album Yield To Despair has more to offer and could therefore be not the most easy album to digest for the die-hard progressive rock aficionada.

When I referred to progressive rock, I think part of that is true, but in a way this Australian band is much more a mixture of other styles that take the leading role in the band's music. Take post rock for example, this style absolutely takes the lead here, but in a way you might not expect. Where you normally find guitar riffs that create a repeating drone, a smooth piano is used in combination with the guitar to create the mesmerizing atmosphere. With this instrument another style that flows into TTOL's music is ambient music and composition wise I would surely add experimental, avant-garde and dark to their distinctive sound.
Yield To Despair is quite a long album, lasting almost seventy minutes. Therefore the five compositions are all clocking over ten minutes, OK, the album's opener The Albanian Sleepover - Part One should last two minutes more to fit in my description, but swat. On one side these long songs are still pretty interesting, for all the different parts that are combined within the composition, on the other hand I am totally aware lots of listeners will find it hard to sit through the whole song. And not just one song, five extended soundscapes with outburst of noise, subtitle piano parts and hypnotic rhythms.

Tangled Thoughts Of Leaving has created an interesting form of music with their second album release. Yield To Despair might take too long for the regular progressive rock listener, but for the devotees of post rock with a strong experimental touch, this is an amazingly strong album. Personally I do like a bit more structured music, but Yield To Despair is an intense sidestep for me to listen to.

***+ Pedro Bekkers (edited by Astrid de Ronde)

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