Even the angry, droney moogs barely manage to get through the deafening wall of white noise, which inaugurates opening track „The Albanian Sleepover, Part 1“… a slow, earth-shaking drum beat is the next thing you’ll notice, and only slowly, gradually, a faint hint of distant melody becomes noticeable. The noise eventually cools off, yielding way to the despair of a lonesome piano… and just 5 minutes into the album, the band has already paid tribute to the album title: „Yield To Despair“.
This is not a post-rock album, and TANGLED THOUGHTS OF LEAVING, from the sparsely populated land around Perth, Western Australia, are
not a post-rock band. Yes, they are instrumental, yes they are epic, yes their compositions are lengthy… but this is overall a much heavier, much
more noisey, much more desperate affair.
As a ‘heavy’ band with a significant emphasis on piano, TANGLED THOUGHTS OF LEAVING are unique within the musical landscape where they play their trade. A strong improvisational streak, rooted in influences of prog and jazz, clashes with the aggressive nature of hardcore and noise, to form the basis of their sound.
Four years after the release of their debut album, „Deaden the Fields“, „Yield to Despair“ comes as a five-track, 70-minute portrait of the bleak, fucked-up world around us. Rather than acting as an upbeat distraction from everyday life, the album is the sound of giving yourself over to the hollowness of modern society – struggles with depression, political frustration, anxiety, sleeplessness, the decline of real human interaction and the gradual devaluation of artistic endeavour. Yes, there are moments of hope to be found – but you must earn them by enduring the noise, the grim repetition and the constant feeling of dread. You must stay for a while, wallow in it and see yourself through it.
Musically, „Yield to Despair“ is a much darker affair than TANGLED THOUGHTS OF LEAVING’s earlier releases; combining elements of post-metal, jazz, noise and doom to
brutal effect, and featuring more of the brash and intense improvisational elements of their live performances, where drummer Ben Stacy and piano player Ron Pollard face each other, as if they were to fight a battle.
Following multiple headline tours in Australia, a national tour opening for This Will Destroy You, and support slots for the likes of Russian Circles, Deafheaven, 65daysofstatic, Karnivool, Grails and Boris, TToL’s intense live show has earned them a strong following in Australia. The band has also toured Europe, and after a seriously mind-blowing performance at Dunk! Festival in Belgium, we had to get involved. This is music that the world needs to hear… dark, challenging, deep, ugly and beautiful, all at the same time. All hail TANGLED THOUGHTS OF LEAVING!