There’s something more than a little disorientating about “Heavy Tonight”, the opening track on Visits, the debut album by Bloomington, Indiana five-piece Tammar. It could be the single synth note that drones on beneath the surface for the song’s entire six and a half minute duration, continually slipping almost imperceptably out of tune, as if playing on a turntable sat at a slight tilt, or perhaps the way the drums seem to jump ahead of themselves by a fraction of a beat every few bars. Visits is littered with odd moments like these, where the band appear slightly out of time or out of tune, and it’s hard to tell whether it’s by accident or by design. Pummeling their way through these tracks with a youthful exuberance and punkish disregard for actual musicianship, a few bum notes could be expected; conversely, it’s just as likely the group have thrown these hiccups in intentionally in order to rough up their otherwise sleek rock sound for the benefit of a hipper indie audience. Either way, it makes for a strangely addictive listen, and whilst the record’s tense, paranoid vibes and hypnotic, bass-heavy grooves owe a serious debt to a long line of trenchcoat-clad gloom-bringers (Joy Division, the Bunnymen, Interpol) there are less obvious references – the motorik Neu!-isms of “Deep Witness”, or the Section 25 death-disco workout “Arrows Underwater” – that give Visits a unique flavour all of its own.
Listen: “The Last Line” http://soundcloud.com/octopuswindmill/tammar-the-last-line
Visits is out September 20th on Suicide Squeeze Records