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Brokeback - Brokeback and the Black Rock (Thrill Jockey)

27 March 2013

Brokeback has long been the creative outlet for Doug McCombs (Tortoise, Eleventh Dream Day), though Brokeback and the Black Rock is the first new Brokeback material in a decade. In many ways, nothing’s changed; it’s slow, mellow, hazy instrumental post-rock; perhaps a played-out sound in 2002, but one that, a decade later, sounds fresh and new—especially since Tortoise’s sound isn’t imitated much anymore. While the band’s warm western sound can be heard on “The Wire, The Rag, and The Payoff,” the band’s sound feels much more Blues-influenced. “Gold,” “Don’t Worry Pigeon,” and “Colossus of Roads” feel like post-Syd Barrett, pre-Dark Side of the Moon Pink Floyd, whilst the opening “Will Be Arriving” feels like a Durutti Column outtake. This “comeback” album feels all too brief; just as one gets into its groove, it ends. Hopefully it won’t be another decade before we get to hear another Brokeback record.