Boomkat Product Review:
Tortoise bassist Douglas Andrew McCombs strikes out solo for the first time with assists from members of Calexico and The Sea and Cake - basically if yr into lightly breezed, ambient-adjacent Chicago post-rock, this one's a doozy.
A founder member of Tortoise who's also played in plenty of other ensembles - including Eleventh Dream Day, Brokeback and The For Carnation - Douglas McCombs can rightly be called one of the Chicago post-rock scene's true mainstays. And yet it's taken him this long to put together a solo album? Well he's been busy - while he might not have gone fully insular, he's released albums with local experimental sort David Daniell and collaborated with Stereolab, Daniel Lanois and Yo La Tengo, among others. Now he's gotten together with Calexico drummer John Convertino and The Sea and Cake's Sam Prekop (McCombs is the band's touring bassist) to lay down his particular vision of some of the scene's foundational sonics.
'Two To Coolness' is the uncompromising entry point to the record, over 12-minutes of growling guitar experimentation and tweaky post-"TNT" Morricone worship that eventually slithers into a unique groove, assisted by Convertino's drums and Prekop's smoove modular cycles. The album's second and final long-form track is where McCombs hits his stride though, putting his unmistakable bass playing under the microscope and abstracting it into windswept, deep listening drone. Gorgeous.