Trementina

810

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The Chilean trio Trementina started off as straight-ahead shoegazers, overloading their sugar-sweet songs with gnarly waves of guitars and noise. Their first few EPs were pleasantly hooky and certain to conjure up memories of bands like the early Lilys or Swirlies, who learned the lessons of My Bloody Valentine well enough to crank out a very reasonable facsimile of their trademark sound. Both those bands also changed their sound pretty quickly once they established their shoegaze bona fides. Trementina try a similar move on their first full album, 2017's 810. They peel back the wall of sound and introduce some shimmering dream pop, delve into trance-inducing dance beats, and channel their inner Cocteau Twins, while also letting the noise take over on the songs with a more experimental nature, like "The Sound & the South" and the title track. Their sonic choices let the melodies breathe and give the songs some real dramatic power that their previous work didn't. Trementina are far less likely to try bowling listeners over and more likely to seduce them with glimmering dynamics ("Out of the Lights") or nocturnal goth balladry ("No Control"), or lull them into peaceful states of mind with sounds that undulate like the calm ocean ("A Place Up in the Sky"). They even drift a little bit in the direction of '90s bands like the Darling Buds on the bright and poppy "Fall Over Myself." Cristobal Ortiz no longer uses his guitar like an industrial machine; instead, he colors in the arrangements like a master painter who always has a new color to add to the canvas. The wider arrangements leave a large space in the middle for the vocals, and Vanessa Cea fills it with gracefully powerful style. She's not a powerhouse or a whispering shoegazer; she delivers the words clearly and without much fuss. This understatement is perfect, and lets the power of the arrangement and overall sound be the thing that draws people in. The album marks a big change for Trementina, both in approach and results, but they brought all their already established sonic power and hooky songwriting with them as they went. Their early work is good; 810 heads in the direction of really good. A little more experimentation here and there, a little more strength in the drum chair from time to time, and they'll be there before they know it.

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