“The Main Sequence at Last,” the latest offering from Thirst And The Cow (TATC), is a mesmerizing odyssey through the sonic cosmos. For aficionados of Trey Gunn, Radiohead, Tool, and the nuanced complexities of 90s-2000s King Crimson, TATC’s musical tapestry is a breath of fresh air. The album, a collection of instrumental prog/post-prog tracks, unfolds with intricate layers of guitars and touch guitars, skillfully interwoven with a pronounced emphasis on rhythmic elements.
The collaborative synergy with Marc Pelath (The Laconic) and the rhythmic prowess of Juan Dahmen catapults the music to new zeniths. Led by Tim Gardner on U8 Touch Guitar and guitars, Marc Pelath on keyboards and drum programming, and Juan Dahmen on drums and percussion, each track is a sonic exploration. The album serves as a follow-up to TATC’s 2021 EP “Time Gardeners” and continues their thematic exploration of evolutionary concepts. “The Main Sequence at Last” loosely orbits various evolutionary themes, from the cosmic lifecycle of stars and galaxies to the evolution of life, matter, and civilizations. The title track marks the initiation of a star’s phase, commencing the fusion of hydrogen to generate energy.
Recorded across Portland, Maine, Chicago, Illinois, and Albacete, Spain, the album is a testament to the band’s commitment to remote collaboration. With a layered approach, TATC constructs intricate pieces, exploring odd time signatures, polyrhythms, and dynamic shifts. Indulge in the sonic diversity of “The Main Sequence at Last,” where each track is a chapter in a cosmic narrative. From the pulsating energy of “Forming” to the contemplative depths of “Solitude,” and the ethereal expansiveness of “Cosmic Evolution,” the album captivates with its ever-evolving soundscapes. TATC’s dedication to sonic craftsmanship and the evolutionary trajectory of their sound makes this album an immersive and essential experience for lovers of progressive instrumental music.
“Forming” serves as the cosmic overture to the album, with pulsating energy and intricate guitar work. The track sets the stage for the sonic journey, introducing listeners to TATC’s signature blend of prog/post-prog elements.
2. **The Fusion of Heavier Elements:
This track delves into the gravitational pull of heavier sonic elements, exploring a dynamic interplay between instruments. The fusion of guitars and keyboards creates a rich auditory experience, echoing the celestial processes it encapsulates.
“Solitude” takes a contemplative turn, offering a respite in the cosmic expanse. The delicate interweaving of instruments, particularly the U8 Touch Guitar, creates a nuanced atmosphere, inviting listeners to reflect amid the astral vastness.
“Recoil” propels the listener forward with rhythmic precision. The drum work by Juan Dahmen is particularly noteworthy, providing a driving force that propels the composition into dynamic realms.
“212°” raises the temperature with its intensity, showcasing TATC’s ability to experiment with sonic textures. The fusion of instruments reaches its zenith, creating a musical landscape that is both fiery and immersive.
6. A Collapsing Cloud Fragment:
This track introduces an element of cosmic chaos, mirroring the collapse of a celestial cloud fragment. The musical arrangement mirrors the turbulence inherent in cosmic evolution, offering a sonic representation of celestial phenomena.
7. Time and Adaptation:
“Time and Adaptation” introduces a contemplative mood, echoing the evolutionary theme. The track evolves organically, mirroring the adaptive processes inherent in the natural world.
“Illumination” brightens the sonic landscape with its uplifting tones. The interplay of instruments creates a sense of revelation, mirroring the illumination of newfound cosmic understanding.
Named after the swift celestial body, “Mercury” mirrors its namesake’s agility. The track is characterized by rapid shifts and intricate musical patterns, paying homage to the planet’s dynamic nature.
“Primordial” delves into the album’s conceptual roots, exploring the primal essence of cosmic evolution. The layered instrumentation creates a sonic tapestry that harks back to the origins of celestial phenomena.
11. Cosmic Evolution:
The titular track encapsulates the overarching theme of the album, tracing the evolution of cosmic entities. The culmination of the album’s sonic exploration, “Cosmic Evolution” is a fitting climax to the cosmic journey.
12. Darkly Forming:
“Darkly Forming” ventures into the mysterious realms of cosmic creation. The track is characterized by its enigmatic atmosphere and serves as a sonic exploration of the cosmic shadows.
Thirst And The Cow (TATC) masterfully navigates the vastness of instrumental prog/post-prog, crafting an album that is both a musical odyssey and a conceptual exploration of cosmic evolution. Each track contributes uniquely to the sonic narrative, making “The Main Sequence at Last” a compelling and immersive listening experience.