Monday, December 06, 2004

Ticonderoga: low-key minimalist rock

Ticonderoga is a three-piece that recently moved to Raleigh from Iowa. They've been selling their own CD-Rs and putting music up on their web site, but they just signed with Michigan-based label Fifty Four Forty or Fight.

I mentioned previously that drummer Wes Phillips also plays for the Rosebuds, but the two bands are nothing alike (except that they both make music I like pretty well). Unlike the Rosebuds' upbeat pop, Ticonderoga plays sparse, atmospheric music. Some of it starts to sound like Philip Glass minimalism (e.g. "High Score", see below). Here's a description from the Independent's "12 Bands Not To Miss" profile:
twisted, sinuous folk songs, like Cub Country or early, plainsong Wilco glimpsed through the brokesong lenses of Ticonderoga's kindred spirits--Sebadoh, Grandaddy, Sparklehorse.
(Gotta say, I don't know most of those bands...)

They have about 25 songs available on their web site, though it sounds like their new record deal will require some or all of that to come down. Although I like the music, the songs are so low key that it's hard with only a few listens to pick out clear standouts. I'll take a stab, though:

MP3: "High Score"
As I mentioned above, the intro to this song is intruigingly minimalist. (You may need to append ".mp3" to the file name when you save this.)

MP3: "Accord"
This one really highlights the fractured folk style that the Independent described. The percussion adds a lot to this track.

MP3: "Centipede"
More of a rock/electric track.

MP3: "Punchline"
They do get noisy sometimes. Short and sour.

So that's a sample. I have downloaded them all and like them -- looking forward to seeing what comes next from these guys!


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