Tetra Splendour – Splendid Animation (EMI)

Albums, Reviews

Originally hailing from Porthcawl in South Wales, Tetra Splendour have set about creating an album that reflects their need to break away from small town life, and move on to bigger and better things.

What Tetra Splendour have in spades is a monstrous wall of sound, at times epic, on other occasions claustrophobic; their sound sums up their situation. Their sound is an amalgam of just about every indie-tinged band of the last twenty years, with singer Gareth Jones veering between the vocal styles of Noel Gallagher, Thom Yorke, Shaun Ryder, and at one point Sting. I swear.

The band themselves approximate anything and everything from Led Zepplin and Pink Floyd to Supergrass. This is not to say that Tetra Splendour don’t have a sound of their own, but they are rooted heavily in the indie-rock category. Unfortunately this can hinder some of the songs presented here. Just as the band can sound somewhat derivative, Jones can sound a little too sincere and whiney for his own good at times.

Halfway through ‘CFCs’ he begins to complain about a raging headache. Now, I’m sorry but rock musicians don’t complain about headaches, not even when they’ve been on a three-month bender and they’re puking blood in their sleep. So pull yourself together, man.

‘Splendid Animation’ is no bad album though; songs like ‘Bless My Soul’, ‘Global Village’ and past single ‘Mr Bishi’ indicate a striking pop sensibility and insightful lyrics. Given that most of this band are still incredibly young, this is a very promising debut and there is every chance that Tetra Splendour could eventually provide us with something very special. Hopefully those bigger and better things are on their way soon.

First published on Musicomh 2002

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