I’m not sure how the guys in Tarantula A.D. came up with their name, but on a skin-deep level it’s very suiting. When I hear the eclectic sounds coming from the cello and violin produces a spider-like, web infested ambiance that rivals the background music to a creepy scene in a Disney movie. Imagine melting together some of the dark settings in Edward Scissorhands, giving that to the composers of The Lord of the Rings, then blending it with a score of an Opera murder-mystery. What you have is the instrumental adventure known as Book of Sand, Tarantula A.D’s second release, but first full-length album. Using eccentric instruments such as the melodica and glockenspiel, they have produced an album like nothing else I have ever heard. The song “Palo Borracho” is a tango, samba-esque jam with a rock ending, and if that doesn’t intrigue you, the track “Lost Waltz” is a solo piano composition that sets a somber mood of despair and desolation. Tarantula A.D. seems to write songs in groups with “The Century Trilogy I, II, and III” being an emotional roller coaster centerpiece of the album, and sibling songs such as “Sealake” and “Riverpond” sounding like morning time sounds of a far-off fantasy land. Overall, the album doesn’t really hit a groove or make you bob your head, but it’s interesting and thought inspiring and worth at least one listen.
Book of Sand was recorded in Dylan Bay Lodge on Orcas Island, off the northwest coast of Washington, with minimal recording equipment and the doors ajar to let in bits of the natural sounds of the Pacific Ocean. At times, some of the instruments sound a bit lower in quality than others, but the overall tone is warm and instinctive, as I’m sure it was supposed to be. The small portions of vocals were randomly recorded in hotel bathrooms and finally mixed and mastered in NYC at the Kemado Records studio. The “What is that noise, oh I left my CD player on too long” gospel-like hidden track instead became the “controversial banned in the U.S.” track with lyrics like “Jesus, I want you in my bed tonight.” The song, entitled “If You Deny Me, I’ll be lost,” is available at http://www.tarantulaad.com so that the European fans aren’t the only ones that enjoy the chaotic horrible vocals and mismatched blues guitar, hooray! But it does make a great story and probably got them a little more press, so more power to ‘em. I would really like to see what kind of live performance accompanies such a composition, but currently there are no Denver show dates scheduled. We will be keeping an eye on them though, so check the KBuzz calendar regularly for updates.