Fredericton’s Tortue has come out of their shell and dropped a two-track EP titled Slither on Dec. 26, their first release in two years.
The band has been dormant while frontman Aidan Bullock is studying to be an industrial control technician in Saint John at New Brunswick Community College and bassist Connor MacAulay takes his master’s of philosophy in Toronto.
The group throws a mixed bag of genres into each song they perform. But this time the band has taken on a much louder tone, drawing from influences like Queens of the Stone Age and King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard.
“I just wanted to make a heavier, more metal version of psych rock,” said Bullock.
The album reels you in with its wailing guitars and entrancing atmosphere. The full, grimy bass adds weight while Bullocks soothing vocals act as the counterbalance for an overall even-keeled sound.
Saint John’s Jamie Comeau joined Tortue in March 2018, who Bullock plays with in Jamie Comeau and the Crooked Teeth. Bullock said this brought new life into the EP’s songs.
“I think he brought a lot of energy. He’s a very energetic and charismatic kind of person.”
Both tracks on the album were written shortly after their 2016 album Summer In Algiers came out and have been a part of the band’s setlist for a year and a half, which allowed for some on-stage tweaking to the arrangements.
“I think ‘Homecoming’ especially went through quite a few different iterations especially when we were trying it out live, just because the ending part of the song had different lengths depending on different days and how long we felt like playing it,” said Bullock.
“Musically the ideas are really the same. It was more kind of chopping things up, where to end parts and things like that, that really got changed,” said MacAulay.
The song “Homecoming” is about personal experiences, overcoming loss and learning to deal with it while adjusting to a new place, Bullock said.
“I lost two family members to diseases and that was kind of hard to get over. It was really just about learning to get over losing someone who is really important to you in your life, who has been there for a really long time and that it’s OK to feel certain feelings sometimes,” he said.
The band played their official release shows for the album just before the new year, but they have yet to announce their plans for 2019.