There is no substitute for volume when listening to this record – the possibly apocryphal adage about listening to loud music quietly and ambient music very loud doesn’t really work well here; Return to Everything instead demands extremity, especially in the bass department to set the speaker cones rattling the windows, doors and random items of furniture – because once the throaty, roaring riffs kick in it feels like there’s no stopping them, nor any desire for them to end. Time is held hostage, gripped by a primal howling audio gale so guttural as to make it quite a relief to realise that there are choral tones floating around the baseline of almost tangibly-solid sound, and whether they are human in origin, emergent or synthesized, a source of some slight comfort among the whirring whirl of amplifiers in uproar.The opening grind of “oakca”comes almost as a blessed relief by comparison, its thrumming guitars at sludgecore speed wrapped in frisson-generating skeins of mid- and treble-tones which counterpoint the grimly-robed bass end neatly as the high-strung tension builds with an almost mechanistic brutality. While overtones crawl ever upwards into the higher reaches of ear-tingling audio catharsis, ghostly hints of percussion – mechanical, or found in scrapyards, perhaps – uncoil themselves from burial sites deep within the mix before achieving a plateau of roaring, effulgent noise and the final fade.
At barely half an hour in length, Return to Everything demonstrates that Tecumseh have an excellent sense of restraint and self-control in a field where over-indulgence in extremities in running time and sprawling epics are not entirely unknown. However, more tracks would be welcome, and hopefully will be forthcoming soon too.