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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Millions Now Living Will Never Die

Tortoise

1996

Buy At Rough Trade
Millions Now Living Will Never Die
Album Summary

Millions Now Living Will Never Die is the second studio album by American post-rock band Tortoise. The album was released on January 30, 1996 by Thrill Jockey. The album's title is a reference to a phrase used in the Jehovah's Witness faith in the 1920s. It is, for instance, the title of an essay by Joseph Franklin Rutherford, who was the second president of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society. It was also the slogan of the evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson.By March 1998, the album had sold over 50,000 copies, with 80% as CDs and the remainder as LPs.

Wikipedia

Rating

2.87

Votes

10319
Genres
Rock

Reviews

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Wed Nov 17 2021
1

A lot of people remember the experience of plugging in a casio keyboard for the first time and wanting to try out all the presets and features all at once. Most of us don't try to call that an album though.

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Mon Apr 12 2021
5

Really surprising. Never heard of this band before. It's instrumental, something that wouldn't have spoken to me much when I was younger, but I find it excellent now. So much variety and interesting textural and atmospheric sounds. A deep surprise I'll probably find myself listening to again in the near future and maybe explore the band's other work. Djed is the 20min experimental, progressive wild ride that reminds me of Fear of a Blank Planet yet even better strung together. Just awesome find.

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Fri Sep 10 2021
4

Yo La Tengo meets ambient no vocals

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Fri May 21 2021
5

tortoise is one of the seminal bands in postrock. this is a must listen album for anyone that likes complex, yet gentle long form songs. in the vein of do make say think, explosions in the sky, godspeed you! black emperor

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Fri Feb 19 2021
4

This album is great. Purely instrumental with a really engaging, low-key, atmospheric sound. 'Along the Banks of the River' has been my favourite so far. 4 stars, easy.

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Thu Jan 28 2021
5

Essential Post-Rock album. Opening song Djed spans from electronic buzzing to more rhythmic grooves and driving bass. Pulling in an electric sounding key and devolving into more electronic sound it is the highlight of the album. Halfway through the song it opens into a mix of traditional open guitar and electronic sounds and a xylophone. Background, foreground or whenever you listen to it, it can be on constant repeat.

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Wed Jan 25 2023
5

Wow! This is an album out of nowhere for me, but it rocks! I could have predicted a lot of the shade being thrown its way in the reviews but it's really cool and quirky. An experience as much as anything, the opening 21 min track bending and winding its way through the soundscape.

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Thu Feb 18 2021
4

Beautiful as an instrumental album. Great as background. The first track "Djed" is 21 minute opus that goes in several different directions.

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Fri Mar 25 2022
4

"Millions Now Living Will Never Die" is not only a very good album, but it also a very important album - as a genre defining record in the post rock genre. Everything that would become a staple for this style is here, specially the focus on textures and timbre in the place of common rock structures like riffs and chords. It's as if rock and roll was becoming free jazz. "Djed" is a 20 minute masterpiece that shows how well Tortoise work together as a band, crafting songs together to create minimalistic sounds, beautiful to the years. In this record, however, they still sound a little crude and it's their next record (1998's TNT) that would show what they were really capable of.

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Thu Apr 15 2021
2

Unusual instrumentals... Can't imagine picking it up to play as an album but still was interesting background filler

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Sun Jan 30 2022
5

Very cool atmospheric Math Rock. Will definitely be adding this to my “background music while I work” collection.

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Fri Dec 30 2022
5

Centered around a twenty minute opening salvo that combines glitchy electronica, ECM jazz and muted post-rock, Millions Now Living Will Never Die sees Tortoise take their place amongst the ever changing landscape of alternative rock (or whatever remained of it) and forging fertile ground in the process.

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Wed Apr 05 2023
5

The opening track had me instantly excited and intrigued about this group I’ve never heard of. It was an incredible musical journey that was full of little surprises. The rest of the album did not disappoint. I was having some trouble categorizing it in my head (Is this jazz? Lite rock? Progressive rock? ). Whatever it is, I love the use of the vibraphone. I love the occasional squeak of the guitar string. These helped make this album a lot warmer and human than one might expect from something so modern. Excellent!

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Fri Jul 07 2023
5

Djed alone is worth the price of admission, which it should be as roughly half the run time of this album. What a cool, eccentric, moody assortment.

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Mon Sep 11 2023
3

Very slow, and kind of monotonous, yet also kind of dreamy. Would put something like this on a sleep playlist. Best: Glass Museum Worst: Djed 2.5 stars

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Tue May 18 2021
1

Why was this even on the list. Pretty weak.

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Wed Apr 14 2021
5

probably my favorite Tortoise album.

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Wed Feb 03 2021
5

This is my kind of album. Really digging it.

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Fri Jul 16 2021
5

Easy 5 stars for me. Like the "Lo Fi Hiphop" youtube channel, with a bit more experimentation and daring. I loved all the surprising twists and turns this instrumental odyssey took.

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Tue Jun 01 2021
5

I dig it. It's very hard for me to put into words what I got out of the album but I think it's fairly representative of what this album achieves. There's just loads of good composition, arrangement, choice of instrumentation, and it all creates a really wonderful texture for my brain to get lost into. Lots of mental images, feelings, the kind of abstract things you might feel that you know would be unbelievably contrived to try to articulate. Will probably revisit this album as well as the rest of the Tortoise discography. I'm genuinely surprised I didn't discover and adore this album in high school, it would have been right up my alley. I guess this is post rock? The thing that really strikes me is the obvious krautrock influence, and I fucking love that genre of music. It's what immediately pulled me into the album. Good post rock is usually devoid of obvious, masturbatory build up and crescendos behind walls and walls of reverb and delay as a lazy attempt to create some kind of effective aesthetic and feeling of catharsis. This is a fine example of how to make stunning post rock without those cliche's. I wish I had better words to describe. There are a plethora of moments in this album that really get me into the moment and I'm in that holy trance of jam. There are a lot of unexpected left turns and stylistic choices but they don't clash at all, it never feels inconsistent. Tons of variety. I love this album actually.

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Wed Aug 11 2021
5

ethereal, clean, coming of age, both hard and soft, fantastically 90s (cool album name too x)

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Sat Aug 21 2021
5

Really interesting textures and ideas coming together - thought provoking instrument music, great for reading and chilling

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Fri Sep 17 2021
5

Great, experimental, easy going, never boring.

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Wed Dec 29 2021
5

Heel speciale instrumentale muziek. Rustig maar intrigerend.

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Thu Mar 31 2022
5

I loved this when it first came out. This was innovative post rock and turned my head (slowly, like a tortoise) Still enjoy hearing this from start to finish. Still sounds fresh and innovative. Brilliant

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Thu Apr 21 2022
5

Big fan of post-rock and this didn’t disappoint

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Sun Sep 11 2022
5

Peaceful, exciting, and delightfully complex. I'm glad learned about this band, they provide Can levels of bliss. "The Taut and Tame" blew me away.

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Fri Sep 16 2022
5

Amazing experience, will definitely listen many times again. Great opus.

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Mon Oct 17 2022
5

Ik hou van post-rock. Dus ook dit album was zeer welkom. Lekker instrumentaal, en net vreemd genoeg dat het goed is

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Sat Nov 05 2022
5

Great for listening in one go. Driving music. I like the erratic changes, harmony and flow, as well as variety of instruments and rhythms

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Fri Dec 16 2022
5

10/10 this album has nearly everything I’m a total sucker for complete perfection from beginning to end

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Sun Jan 15 2023
5

во первых очень красивая обложка, вау сам альбом тоже классный мне понравился

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Thu Feb 23 2023
5

This album is one of the most important works of post rock. It experiments with sounds and musical textures in an almost meditative intentional way that allows songs to build, simmer, and dissolve in their own timing. The instrumentation and genre hopping feel like this is almost like a musical laboratory.

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Sun Apr 02 2023
5

Probably my favorite album by Tortoise this is a masterpiece!

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Wed Apr 19 2023
5

A genuine discovery! I enjoyed this so much

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Fri Apr 21 2023
5

I've heard of Tortoise! It was good, would listen to again for sure.

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Thu May 04 2023
5

I'm not normally one for superlatives but this was a masterpiece

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Thu May 11 2023
5

Quite a trip of an album, and honestly surprised by the atmosphere on display.

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Thu May 11 2023
5

I forgot how much I loved Tortoise. TNT was on pretty frequent rotation for me back in high school and early college, but I never got around to their other stuff. I'm happy this led me here!

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Thu May 18 2023
5

Djed was such a nice track..

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Sun Jun 11 2023
5

Something about the sounds on the song "The Taut and The Tame" remind me of Land of the Lost, specifically the 70s tv version since that's the only one I've seen. There's also something dark and mysterious about the final song on the album that I'm really into. I'm very much into this album.

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Fri Sep 01 2023
5

Very interesting. This is ostensibly music for the head, as opposed to the heart, yet in its unhurried deconstruction of rock music, it can be quite beautiful. First track 'Djed' sets the scene, dissonance morphing into some pretty cool Krautrock before twisting into yet another sound pretzel - a recurrent theme throughout. Sometimes these shapes are ugly, but always stimulating. And that's not to say that this is a difficult listen; far from it. 'Glass Museum' has a dreamlike quality to it, whilst closer 'Along the Banks of Rivers' could be the dust-spattered soundtrack to a spaghetti western showdown. So - an album that privileges texture and tonality above all the usual business of rock music. It could have been a mess. Instead, it's a triumph.

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Fri Sep 15 2023
5

I hadn't listened to any Tortoise in a long while, but this is still a great album. They have this unique sound that I absolutely love.

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Fri Sep 15 2023
5

Hard to believe it is almost 30 years ago this was released. I liked it then and I like it now. Favourite song: Djed, of course.

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Wed Dec 13 2023
5

21 minute 90s alternative song - sign me up. I'm all about this nonsense. 10 stars. millions/5

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Fri Dec 22 2023
5

5/5. A really great post-rock album, slow-moving and hesitant without ever feeling boring. The best song is the first 20-minute long Djed but the second side of small ideas is also great. They all feel urgent yet basking in their patience hoping the audience will relax with them, and if you do allow yourself to calm down, your experience will be heightened. Although I wouldn't say I would enjoy this all the time, this was one I couldn't really find fault in.

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Fri Dec 29 2023
5

Went in with an open mind knowing nothing about this, but I’d be lying if I didn’t feel some slight dread seeing that 20 minute opening track, especially since I knew NOTHING about what was ahead of me. But this is fucking amazing, scratched an itch that I didn’t realise was there. This album placed me in a state of total, dreamy euphoria throughout the entire 43 minutes. Extremely calming, gorgeous instrumentals, I actually needed this today.. I don’t really know what else to say, out of all the albums I’ve had from this project so far, this one is my favourite. 5/5

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Fri Jan 26 2024
5

I had this album for 20 years in my collection and heard eventualy a little bit of it. Now I'm exited to recover ist again. It's excellent.

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Sun Feb 18 2024
5

An enthralling piece of sonic doom ambience.

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Tue Feb 20 2024
5

Halfway between Mogwai and Boards of Canada, but with its own jazz thing going on. Another one I should have been listening to at the time.

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Wed Mar 20 2024
5

First ever listen to these guys, love this album.

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Thu Apr 04 2024
5

These are exactly the kind of albums I was hoping to discover through this list

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Thu Oct 08 2020
4

Pretty chill, early indie rock/jam band feel, no vocals

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Wed Feb 17 2021
4

I have a soft spot for these types of prog rock albums.

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Mon May 10 2021
4

This was really good. Kinda psychadelic. 4.5

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Fri May 14 2021
4

Well that was refreshingly good! Still not sure what post-rock is supposed to mean, but I guess I like it.

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Thu Jun 24 2021
4

Really interesting instrumentals!

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Wed Feb 24 2021
4

Had some cool beats, liked the experimental nature of this album.

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Mon Jul 05 2021
4

Meine Güte, das hatte ich ja völlig vergessen, wie konnte das denn passieren? Fühlt sich an wie eine Wiederentdeckung, und zwar vom selben Format wie die Eno-Platte. Wenn ich der 5 Punkte gegeben habe (was ich jetzt gerade nicht mehr tun würde), dann müsste ich das hier auch, weil sie mich genau am selben Nerv erwischt. Krautig, treibend, fordernd, ständig absichtlich verrätselt und natürlich super artsy. Und intellektuelle Rätsel sind ja immer soo schmeichelhaft! Hab aber trotzdem jetzt keine Lust auf volle Punktzahl (wie eben auch bei Eno nicht mehr), weil: ich bin zu erschöpft und zu urlaubsreif und wünsche mir, dass die nächste Platte entweder von Oasis ist, oder was zum richtig glücklichen Abwatschen. 3,6

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Mon Jul 05 2021
4

Ich liebe Tortoise, bin aber diesem Album sonst eher zwiespältig gegenüber eingestellt gewesen; mag am mittlerweile besser verstandenem Monster Opener „Djed“ liegen, das etwas unfertig, abstrakt, strukturell technoid wirkt. Da wirkt einstige Schwäche plötzlich als starke Besonderheit schlechthin, folgen doch dann Stücke, die der klareren Postrock Struktur folgen, für die ich damals eine stärkere Neigung hatte. Die Balance ist vorhanden, wechseln die Tracks zwischen diesen Polen immer wieder ab und doch liegt mir das folgende Album TNT ein klein wenig mehr am Herzen. 3.8

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Thu Mar 18 2021
4

Solid 3.5, gets a 4 because it's better than the other 3s I've rated. When it's good it's excellent, did zone out quite a lot too though

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Thu Mar 18 2021
4

Really enjoyed this, will absolutely listen again.

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Wed May 26 2021
4

I liked it. Great to listen to during work. Relaxing enough to feel good about it, interesting enough to not get bored. It was a bit weird how the first song was half of the album and stylistically somewhat different from the second half. The first half I clearly enjoyed more and would have rated it a 4.5 whereas the second half was more of a 3.5 for me.

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Sun Jun 06 2021
4

Impressively atmospheric and immersive.

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Wed Jun 02 2021
4

Pretty dope instrumentals here. Some went on a little too long but a lot of great bass lines and cool use of sounds. I liked it a lot but it was perfect

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Wed Jun 02 2021
4

Really nice listening. A bit experimental at times. Made me think "what's really going on here?"

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Wed Jun 16 2021
4

Quite a surprise of an album. Fully instrumental, I could feel the raw emotion throughout. Will definitely be a repeat listen.

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Fri May 14 2021
4

Not Brian Eno, But better than expected

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Sun Jun 27 2021
4

An album that helped establish post-rock. What is post-rock. I don't know. I thought this was krautrock at first. I listened to their other album "TNT" to get a better idea and all I heard was jazz fusion. Nevertheless, this would be a crowning krautrock album that has a general flow but always changing that kep things interesting and fun. It's one of my favorite instrumentals and something I'll play from time to time.

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Wed Jun 09 2021
4

Good music to listen to while working.

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Thu Aug 19 2021
4

This was a nice surprise. Entirely instrumental album that was really chill and enjoyable. Nice Lofi music to study or read.

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Mon Sep 06 2021
4

Saw them live at ATP. Great music.

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Wed Sep 29 2021
4

Laid back, technically complex, chill.

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Fri Oct 01 2021
4

I’m partial to a bit of post rock here and there. Mogwai being my go-to choice. In my mind Every Mogwai album sounds like it should be a soundtrack to a zombie apocalypse film like 28-days later. Tortoise dials down the soundtrack to the end of the world thing, it’s not so bleak…. But it is just as slow burning.

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Wed Nov 03 2021
4

This was cool! Never heard of it, will listen again. Great for work and study. The songs run together a bit, but in a good way.

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Mon Nov 08 2021
4

Great for putting on while you’re doing something else. Ambient but not dull

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Sun Nov 21 2021
4

A really relazxing jazz vibe instumental album. I like it

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Wed Nov 24 2021
4

I enjoyed this one - even if as background music I could engage with

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Wed Jan 12 2022
4

Well, I have to say it's remarkable how virtually every postrock album ever (spanning decades, evidenced by the album at hand) manages to deliver this very specific experience: • oh wow what a title/bandname! Clearly master poets at work. • yes, the jams are good (approx t=40 seconds in) • wait, am I still listening to music? where am I? (approx t=somewhere between 40 seconds and 40 minutes in). • looks at the title/bandname, and laments that the music isn't as poetic (not strictly in the literal sense, but in the artistic balance sense) as the labelling attached to it. I'm a postrock fan, but maybe not for the music. I can't say I understand it, either.

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Wed Feb 09 2022
4

like dropping acid while at an aquarium. it's strange, challenging, and your mind wanders, but you find yourself occasionally fascinated by the textures and colors

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Fri Mar 11 2022
4

1990's Krautrock. If you know, you know

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Fri Apr 08 2022
4

I keep trying to come up with things to say about this album, but it demands more attention than I can give it right now. So, for the time being, I'll say it is an instrumental, shoegazey rock album and I like it.

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Fri Apr 08 2022
4

A perfect album for a rainy day doing nothing...Or is it?

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Fri Apr 22 2022
4

Classic post-rock album. The amount of electronic elements really sets them apart too.

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Mon May 02 2022
4

I'm so glad to find Tortoise on this list as they're not very well known, but are one of my favourite post-rock bands. The bandleader and multi-instrumentalist John McEntire has been so influential in the post-rock world lending his hand to some great groups such as the Sea and Cake, Gastr del sol, and many of Jim O'Rourke's works. The music here is complex, multi-layered and very atmospheric. I think their next album, TNT is slightly better (with one of my all time fav songs I set my face to the hillside), but Millions is also a real gem.

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