Post. Post-modern. Post-punk. Post-mortem. Post-apocalyptic. Post-rock. Since the mid-20th century the antecedent has been tarred, affixed and bound to a multitude of words in the English vocabulary. The present offers no certain insight into the future, and these four letters once carried the charge of that uncertainty. Tortoise, Chicago's forebears of post-rock, found themselves post-six studio albums and birthing a seventh in January 2016, the first since 2009. Even following this healthy outlay of releases, there's something inarguably futuristic, something fresh and avant-garde to their sound still. Their compositions are thematic and self-aware – intentionally plodding, deliberately meandering. Their palette is bleak and white; washed but never pastel and never drab. This distinctly desaturated quality returns on Catastrophist
: blurring, blending, brooding over, then bleeding out the motifs of the past. Each of the group's members are thoroughly accomplished and wildly prolific in their own right, and the seven-year gap since Beacons of Ancestorship
has no relation to lack of inspiration. And with the present ever more fractured and foreboding, Tortoise's "everything must go" sonic approach has perhaps never been more timely.
with Tara Jane O'Neil | 8 p.m. Monday, March 20 | The Social, 54 N. Orange Ave. | 407-246-1419 | thesocial.org