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Cover Art

Tetrezene ( )

Lake No. 5
Bobby Dazzler ( )

Tetrezene come at their music via a fine Canadian tradition: drone rock. Ever since Godspeed You Black Emperor! crawled out of Montreal, this country has been producing drone, space and noise rock like there's no tomorrow. Toronto's Tetrezene add to the ever-churning mix of atmospheric rock floating over Canadian campus airwaves for the past few years.

Although a quintet, Tetrezene has one stand out player in Ben Boles, who introduces lap steel guitar to Canadian drone rock. The addition adds a neat, metallic sound that permeates the bands music. It's especially present on Lake No. 5's first track "Zone 4."

Lake No. 5, however, is not the next great drone rock opus. In fact, this album seems like a step backwards for the band. After releasing last year's excellent disk, n.door.fin on Noise Factory Records out of Toronto, the band seemed ready to play with the big boys. They had a great groove and tight orchestration to their music. After hearing Lake No. 5, it almost feels like that most of that sound was due to the members of Do Make Say Think, who filled in on drums, engineering and production.

This album (only 8 songs long, 9 if you count track 4, which is 22 seconds of tapes rewinding) is really only three tracks, only two of which work. "Swoon Manuever" is seven minutes of pure drone bliss. It shimmers and pulses. "Zone 4" is also good, with Boles' lap steel the stand out. The third non-remix track "Acme of Bliss" starts great but is quickly scuttled by guitarist/vocalist Shannon du Hasky, whose voice seems too tinny to be suited for this type of music. Interestingly, "Acme of Bliss" is the only track here with prominent vocals; the other tracks have it buried way down in the mix.

The rest of the album is remixes from Toronto area DJs. Remixes are always hit and miss, and this album is no exception. All the DJs take the trademark churn of trip-hop and merge it with Tetrezenes' drone to varying degrees of success. DJ Aries' mix of Zone 4 adds random bursts of static and bubbling Twilight Zone-style effects to create a wonderful eerie feel to the track. DJ Shrimp Tibs' trip-hop mix of the same track really chugs along with a strong funk bassline. DJ Benjamin Boles adds some nice hard funk flourishes to "Acme of Bliss." The other two remixes suffer from murky production and not enough originality to add to the original versions of the tracks.

Tetrezene still have the potential to make something for themselves in the crowded world of Canadian drone rock, especially with the strength of Boles' unique approach to the genre. More focus and less reliance on outside sources could be a boon for their future.

RECOMMENDED TRACKS: Swoon Maneuver, Zone 4, Zone 4 (DJ Aria, Aria Dub mix)

Reviewer: Steve Marlowe, CFBX Radio, Kamloops, BC

By Steve Marlow
Apr 27, 2002

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