Tarantula A.D.: Book of Sand


I could compare Tarantula A.D.’s new CD to it’s namesake; the Jorge Luis Borges collection of short stories that deal with the aging writers reflections on life, but what would be the point?

Laid out in theatre format and playing like the soundtrack to a mid century German film on existentialism produced by a floundering grad student, Book of Sand’s music bores from start to finish. The three main movements titled “The Century Trilogy: Conquest, Empire and The Fall” are grandiose in title only. The album is fundamentally instrumental with random chanting; some of it from guest Devendra Banhart, however the ghostly wails do nothing to further the music in any direction. “Sealake,” the most interesting track, haunts with lyrics under the surface, but drowns before setting any scene. The double bill of “Who Took Berlin (Parts I and II)” begins with a stomp and then whispers away into a tinkering piano fizzle. “Palo Borracho” is a sprawling tune sporting an energetic flamenco guitar completely out of place with the rest of the album. Chamber music with a flair of metal and a touch of trance, the album lingers in its pomposity.

At it’s best this sounds like a sketch of an album with the rest to be filled in after a trip to Rome…at its worst it sounds like a pretentious band over thinking everything and gaining nothing. The random guitar riff’s and omnipresent string atmosphere’s blend and by the time the album is over you are left alone wondering just what the hell the band was trying to do?

Borges was a writer whose concise pieces are open to various interpretations, but towards the end of his career, Book of Sand included, he strove for a more naturalistic style of writing, opening up to the reader. Tarantula A.D.’s Book of Sand keeps everything hidden and the listener suffers for it.

Related Content

Recent Posts

New to Glide

Keep up-to-date with Glide