Salut fellow tourists, time again for another Souvenir of the Week! Like the last souvenir, this souvenir comes from a genre that I had not shared with you all yet. If my greeting in french didn’t give it away, this week’s souvenir is called Home Alone and comes from a french band called TotorRo.
TotorRo can trace its roots back to when the two guitarists John and Christophe met in high school. Originally just for fun, over the years they became more serious starting with the recording of their first demo in 2008 when their bassist Xavier joined the band. A few years later in 2011 they were joined by their drummer Bertrand and recorded their first true release. Since their humble origins the band has put out 3 releases, moved from various parts of Brittany and into a house together in Rennes.
Originally the band started off playing post-rock/post-hardcore, but with Home Alone they started to move towards a more pop punk, indie pop, and math-rock sound. This shift towards these differing sounds is done excellently so, making this release feel light, airy, fun, and at times even relaxing.
Now before you judge this seemingly weird mixture of genres, allow me to assuage your worries. Although the concept of math-rock might scare some away due to its technically complex nature and unusual sound, this album is very accessible to those who are not generally fans of the genre while still being satisfying to those that are. While there are a variety of examples of the unique musical features ascribed to the genre they never become too overpowering or over used. One such example is the irregular stopping and starting heard in the opening track Home Alone,which is sprinkled throughout the song and not dominating it.
The math-rock aspects of this release go great with the pop punk vocals and guitar riffs to keep things feeling fast and exciting at times, while the soft indie pop melodies allow for a more relaxed almost ambient feel at other times. Some examples of these sounds working together in action are the tracks Home Alone, Chevalier Bulltoe, Motte Rock, and Eric Colson.
I could continue on about the technical aspects of this release but I don’t want to bore all of you, so let me wrap this up just by saying that this is a very enjoyable listening experience. Whether you are actively listening to it to fully appreciate its sound or if you just have it on in the background while you study, you can’t go wrong. My favorite tracks are Home Alone, Chevalier Bulltoe, Eric Colson, and Osao San. As always, thanks for reading and I’ll see all of you next week, au revoir!
Photo credit: http://www.recreation-center.com/product/home-alone-lp-vinyl-180g
Original Punk Rock Tourist photo taken by Monique F.