Across Tundras

Sage

Neurot Recordings 2011

Treading across cultures and genres, the new opus by Across Tundras is a lusher, more uptempo album than Dark Songs of the Prairie.  With native American aesthetics and a western twang, the languid drawl of In The Name Of The River Grand sets events in motion.  Slow rolling riffs and thick fuzzy bass guitar traipse in dustily from the plains while Tanner's vocals are washed out like a dry riverbed.  Like an old 70s rock anthem, free-spirited and full of visions of open roads, Hijo De Desierto undulates to the beat like a swaying singer's hips.  Utilizing an astral sounding bass guitar and somewhat tribal beat, Buried Arrows lightly shuffles its feet.  A male-female vocal duet lends a Doors-ish feel to the song until the western influenced chorus amps up the energy of the song and casts off its semi-psychedelic instrumentation.  Tchulu Junction takes a different direction, plodding and barren.  An air of ominous doom hangs thick upon this track as its slow riffs shift upwards in tempo and melody, without sacrificing any of the dread.  Trending even further in the direction of Earth's style of plodding doom, Mean Season Movin' On drones and drowns in repetition with soulful western doom riffs, but some highly active bass lines to add an exploratory dimension.  The album closes out with more tribal beats and a surprisingly playful guitar line on the instrumental Shunka Sapa.  If you liked the first Across Tundras, then you will likely still be enamored by Sage, however they have installed some of the experimental rock aspects of the Doors and then stripped them down to their dry dusty bones for an album that sounds sunbaked and lush at the same time.