Saturday, April 9, 2011

Choose Your Own Adventure

I just spent the last couple of hours reviewing local Austin businesses on Google Hotpot in an effort to win a contest and as I was doing so I decided I needed an appropriately awesome, but mellow selection of background music. I started off with Radiohead's latest "The King of Limbs"; still enigmatic, but growing on me like all Radiohead albums do. I then moved on to The Octopus Project's latest "Hexadecagon"; synth heavy post rock for the win. And ultimately was moved to put on some tracks from what appears to be the 2011-acquired album I've listened to the most so far this year "Choose Your Own Adventure" by Torgo!.

I bought this album on a whim a few months ago after hearing a couple tracks on the listening station at Waterloo Records. I wasn't sure how I was going to feel about it, but it sounded different and fairly progressive, so I decided to give it a try. "Abandonware" the album's first track immediately calls to mind hipster darlings Vampire Weekend, but as the album progresses it's clear that while there may be some similar influences (Peter Gabriel?) these bands have taken totally different directions. Abandonware is followed by a couple of fairly weak tracks and the instrumental "The Dig" before the 10 minute "The Archaeologist" (a song about the Indiana Jones movies) comes on and Choose Your Own Adventure really gets rolling. Lyrically the album is full of these really geeky, but adorable references to things like the aforementioned Dr. Jones and video gaming. Instrumentally there is really a lot of skill present in these recordings, with a lot of layering and a very professional sound throughout. The end result is definitely something progressive, but come at from a new angle by a new generation. While I tend to skip the first third or half of the album when listening, the experience has overall grown from simply being this quirky album about video games that I bought to a genuinely engaging audio experience. I'm interested to see what these guys do going forward.

If you're looking for something different, definitely check them out. I believe they put out their own album and they're local to Texas so you probably won't find it in your local store (unless that happens to be Waterloo), but you can hear and buy their tracks from their site, so go give them a listen.

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