12 Aug 2021 - Simon
Post metal/Alternative rock/Progressive metal | Release date: 19 Aug 2021
Tacoma Narrows Bridge Disaster return after a 6 year hiatus with a triumphant album which delivers on just about every level
Tacoma Narrows Bridge Disaster are a band from London who over the course of their 12-year-career have released two previous albums, this may not seem like a lot but the two previous albums are of such high quality that you can forgive this relative paucity of music. Indeed it’s been six long years since their last LP. Now, we know a lot can happen in six years (a certain infectious virus for example) so, will this lengthy amount of time affect the quality of their music? Not in the slightest, if anything it seems to have rejuvenated them and they have returned with renewed vigour and purpose, but I’m getting ahead of myself here.
The album is called The World Inside for a reason, it’s about being seemingly trapped in our own internal perspective and how each of us project our prejudices and subjective fantasies onto everyone else and the world around us and judge them accordingly, if they don’t conform to what we think, we judge them defective or deficient in some way. There is a lot of talk about post truth and tribalism, but essentially, when it all boils down to it, we are doing it to ourselves. It’s heady stuff and even if you don’t buy into what they are trying to convey, the music is more than good enough to justify your time here. The thinking behind it being something to chew on whilst enjoying what is essentially an incredible album.
The album starts off with its best foot forward. Opener “Machinations” starts off with a strong sci-fi synth vibe which reminds me of the film Tron Legacy every time I hear it, this then blooms, opens up and introduces us to the bands utterly beguiling rhythm section. Drums and bass slowly build with a glorious, distorted guitar whilst wrapping around those lovely synths. The whole song builds into a monolithic wall of sound which feel like a cathartic release in its intensity. It’s a stunning introduction to the album.
The title track “The World Inside” showcases another facet to the band, and that is their innate sense of melody. Clean guitars dance atop the solid bedrock of the yet again hypnotic drums and bass. It’s worth pointing out that to some bands, the bass is buried so low in the mix that it’s only job is to convey crunch and add that deep rumble, TNBD twist that around and make it the star of the show in quite a few of the songs here, although saying that, every instrument gets it’s time to shine, whether it’s the truly stunning drumming on “Truth Escapes” or the guitars on the beguiling “Postsynaptic”. Speaking of which, the two middle songs “Presynaptic” and the aforementioned “Postsynaptic” flow from one to another so beautifully that it creates a mid-album vortex of joy around which the rest of the album swirls and spins in rapturous abandonment.
It may be on purpose or a happy co-incidence of the track listing but you could genuinely listen to the whole thing and think of it as one longform song with various movements within it, there are also surprises galore throughout the whole album, such as the thrillingly dirty, almost thrashy guitars at the end of “Apocryhal” but the real jewel in the crown, comes in the shape of “Truth Escapes” which, to me, feels like a summation and celebration of everything this band does so well, it’s also the only track on the album which has vocals. The way the song falls apart around the half way point and gets built up again around a massive hooky guitar passage is hauntingly good and quite frankly, if it doesn’t get you nodding along with joy, we just can’t be friends.
The whole album feels progressive, not just in a music sense but a progression for the band as a whole. It’s an assured, mutli-faceted and utterly beguiling album which confidently catapults the band into the upper echelons of progressive music. As the wait between albums has been so long, I thought that they were quietly disappearing, instead they have roared back with one of the most complete, brilliantly executed albums of the year so far and if this keeps up, my albums of the year list is going to get very difficult to whittle down. Just listen to this album, it’s awesome.