Tortoise Forest Album Release Party Saturday @ Mohawk Place
On the heels of an extensive years-long endeavor as exclusively live musicians -playing in and around some of Western New York’s most renowned live venues –the time has come
TORTOISE FOREST is releasing their debut record. A collection of some of their first songs ever played in front of audiences, the self-titled debut album brings the upbeat energy with a progressive edge that the band is known for, and the dynamics and precision of the record is the ultimate reimagining for fans of the band in its natural live setting.
The album has been a long time coming. Recorded with former drummer Laith Al-Khalidi, TORTOISE FOREST harkens back to the band’s early days, when their creativity and songwriting chops were untested and unknown. Guitarist Max Davis said of the songs, “I had these ideas in my head since long before starting this band, and as I played around the local scene, I realized I had so much music that deserved its own sound.” Guitarist Mike Cassidy agreed –“These songs took on a life of their own, and we were along for the ride just as much as any fan.” Indeed, fans of artists like Umphrey’s McGee, Consider the Source, and Baroness will feel right at home –extended jams and solos mixed with riff-heavy hooks dot the album front to back.
The opening track “140 x 148” (Dimensions) is a microcosm of the band’s sound, a journey from subtle licks and syncopated rhythms, to an all-out disco/dance number, to a progressive romp through the forest which finishes in a dynamic and nostalgic jam –a true tour de force of tension and release.
The quirky “Charlie Higgins” is the closest thing to a single in the record. The band showcases their affinity for guitar pedals on the main riff, soaring octaves above any note normally attainable. From there the song weaves in and out of rhythmic madness –complete with a breakdown straight out of a metal song. Everything comes back around to the main riff in the end, a satisfying close after the whirlwind that preceded.
The finale“Clouds” showcases the band’s reggae stylings -taking the listener on a journey to the sky and back before they come crashing back down to Earth with dueling guitar solos that would make Yngwie Malmsteen nod in approval.
As rising stars in Buffalo’s vibrant jam scene, TORTOISE FOREST sets itself from the pack with a dynamic volley of progressive riffs, dance rhythms, jazz chords, and a ton of other genre-bending and mind-melting stylings. Their practice has paid off –in 2018, the band reached the 50-show plateau, with gigs all around Western New York, as well as several festival appearances, most notably Buffalo’s Music is Art and the Allentown Artsfest. 2019 is already exceeding expectations, asThe band is playing a 2 show mini tour with Virginia’s Pale Blue Dot in Erie, PA on January 31stand February 1st. With festival season right around the corner, the band will be doing everything in their power to ensure that their unique brand of jams reach the widest audience possible.
Their Album release show will be at Buffalo’s Mohawk Place on January 12, with friends of the band and WNY juggernauts Kaleidoscope Sky and Slip Madigan.