April 5, 2006

Where was it one first heard of the truth? Té te'.

It must be called "Intelligence" if people stop when they realize they are not able to become what they are wishing to be. / te' [2006]

Break the "heart" to what is actually being told instead of asking who said that. / te'

The name: Way cooler the way it's written on their website, on their tour poster to the left, and in the articles written about them than the way it's written on the cover of their "deview" LP: te' is infinitely better than té. The diacritic mark, whether accent or apostrophe, is definitely supposed to be falling off the edge of the "e" into oblivion. Or truth. Or something. Either way, it recalls "teh," which can't be a bad thing.

The album title: Take a breath... If that is what is being thought, liberated sound talks the depths of "musical" world.

The song titles: Take that, Sufjan Stevens.

The sound: Japanese post-rock that kicks eth shit out of Mono's latest release. On the U.S. version, which just came out in March, the album opens with the strongest track. Originally released as a single in 2004, "It must be called 'Intelligence'..." quickly reached #1 on the Disk Union charts in Japan.

Listening to this song makes me think of The Shins, but only because it sounds absolutely nothing like them. The one time I saw The Shins play, they ran through maybe 15 songs before finally reaching full steam. And then het concert was over. They'd finally reached the point where the experience was something worthwhile, and they just stopped. This is not a lack-of-badassness-critique. Not even Natalie Portman expects Te Shins to be badass. But there's no reason they shouldn't play with some heat and maybe even, god forbid, rock out or something.

In contrast, "It must be called 'Intelligence'..." starts off as if te' has been playing for three hours already and is finally reaching a true climax. And that's just the first fifteen seconds. Admittedly, the entire album doesn't sustain that type of energy and is replete with the expected quiet build-ups and lulls; still, hte double lead guitars and pounding drums are never just going through the motions. Even for non-post-rock fans, te''s (yes!) young blood noticeably invigorates the standard tropes of the genre.

The closing track: A bonus only available on the U.S. version, "Break the 'heart'..." adds a number of sounds (including steel guitar?), to nice effect and gives a glimpse of the band moving forward. Maybe the apostrophe will be one space over next time around.

Related: If you haven't, read the article in which Simon Reynolds coined the term "post-rock." It discusses a variety of tensions (studio vs. performance, democracy vs. elitism, brain vs. heart, Eno vs. rednecks) in unexpected Reynoldsian ways. The the.

1 comment:

sang-chol, Han said...

hi, I'm Bulssazo's Guitar,
thank you for Te's CD. This Band is really fantastic,
I love short song, and fast beat rock & roll, and Te' has my favorit element. anyway really thanks for introducing this band.