Album Reviews

Tyvek – On Triple Beams

on December 06, 2012, 7:59am
tyvek C+
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Tyvek vocalist Kevin Boyer talk-shouts without melody (e.g. high note, low note, loud note). His words are disconnected fragments of his laidback Detroit life. There’s a song about self-actualization, a song about driving at night, a song about basements. After all, Boyer fronts a rock band that dwells in said basements, a rock band that’s made basements a sonic shtick (not unlike lo-fi gods Guided By Voices). Tyvek mic up and let their chords reverberate off concrete walls until the noise becomes ear-splitting, indistinguishable, and so far in the red that the end result of a compressed MP3 is literally unlistenable. That’s On Triple Beams. It’s unlistenable in the same way that a basement rock show is unlistenable: You might leave with tinnitus, but the experience will sear into your brain and stay with you forever.

Opener “Scaling” cops the palm-muted strumming of The Three ‘O Clocks’ “Sorry”; however, Tyvek abuse their guitars, playing them with string-breaking ferocity. “The shortest path from here to there,” shouts Boyer. He shouts and he screams and he moans. Sometimes he shouts with others, such as the celebratory call-and-response chorus of “Wayne County Roads”—the album’s most accessible moment. Boyer recalls Archers of Loaf’s Eric Bachmann, but even more disaffected. Notwithstanding the sheer noise Tyvek creates, these songs are rigidly structured (think Queens of the Stone Age’s “robot rock”) to hammer home Boyer’s pithiness. Like on “Effeciency”, when he repeats “Efficiency was boring” over and over as the track fades into swirling psychedelia.

On Triple Beams hasn’t a single melodic note, chorus, or refrain. Naturally, this alienates Tyvek from 99.8% of the general public. But then again, these basement-dwellers alienate themselves, and—like the great lo-fi bands that came before them—their unlistenability is their charm.

Essential Tracks: “Scaling”, “Wayne County Roads”

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