Tired of Wisdom is Thomas Waltrich (vocals/drums/glockenspiel), Daniel Cooper (guitars), Matthew Owen (bass), Leon Tan (keys), Daniel Tsang (violin) and Ash Richter (trombone). The band released Anywhere But Here which is a diverse eleven-song album. Apparently each song is a story from the life of Thomas Waltrich which relates to different memories and phases from ages sixteen to twenty-three. I was thinking about this for a second now that I’m almost forty. The memories I have of myself from that long ago are of a different person. I don’t know how old Waltrich is and I was wondering how recent these memories were.
The story he tells is a little hard to keep track of considering there are a lot of purely instrumental songs. There is a hint however on his Bandcamp page. It says, “in a state of restlessness and continually striving for what is next.” This was more or less constant for me in my early twenties. Truth be told this kind of feeling usually eases up with age.
The band explores a number of different genres on this LP. They start with “Street Lights” which sounds somewhere between Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Menomena. The overall vibe I was getting was post-rock with a little dash of funk from the bass.
“Gorge” is one of the songs that has vocals. The vocals are on the verge of rapping at points. That being said there are a number of different styles. This song comes close to neo-post-punk in the spirit of bands like Viet Cong. The vibe felt very different between the first and second song. That chasm becomes larger with “Void” which is an off-kilter avant garde song that mixes some catchy melodies and jazzy overtones. I loved this song which reminded me of The New Puritans but the direction of the album almost felt random. If I didn’t know otherwise I would have told you the first three songs were from different bands.
“Neon Sand” does bring together some of their previous styles. You can hear elements of post-rock as well as jazz and prof-rock. I loved the drumming on this track. This song in particular sounded similar to something you might from a band like Do Make Say Think. “Neon Sand” flows very nicely into “Really?”
The band throws in raw punk rock on “Signature Scavengers.” At this point I gave up on trying to connect the dots. As the album progresses the band continues to explore new territory from drum heavy ambient pieces “Point Leo” to singer/songwriter folk with a tinge of post-rock on the closing track “Laughing With It.”.
One of the things I always mention in my reviews are bands building a foundation and forming a signature sound. I personally think it’s important and something you will notice in successful bands ranging from Sigur Ros to The Black Keys. They have a sound which gets embedded into people's memories. I’m not saying every band does this but it sure helps to build an audience. On that note I thought these songs were great but I would love to hear the band carve out a specific niche at some point in the future.
I think there are a lot of exceptional songs on this album and I was impressed they were able to pull off as much as they did. This is an album you may need a couple run-throughs because there are so many approaches to the music. It’s definitely a journey worth exploring. Take a listen.
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