Album Review

Agori Tribe – Rollercoaster Tragedies

Written by Sam Stratton

When listening to Agori Tribe, I’m reminded just how special instrumental music is. Because of the lack of vocals, the music (and the musicians) must always speak for itself. Fortunately on their most recent album, The Agori Tribe seem to be multi-lingual. Rollercoaster Tragedies isn’t an album that has any one single tone to it. It’s an album that manages to smoothly slide into different genres without compromising its solidarity. While moreso the length of an Ep, each one of the five entries in this compilation has a musical message distinct from the others. We could even say that Rollercoaster Tragedies is a showcase of the band’s varied musical talents.

The album starts off with with Koda, a song with a melodic beginning that draws you in then jumps into what I can only describe as a jazzy heavy metal breakdown. Koda then comfortably roots itself in a metal sound while giving way to melodic breaks that compliments itself quite stylishly. There aren’t a lot of words that you can apply to the album all the way through, but jazz is in the running to be one of them. When listening to Cody, the second song on the album, I picture a late night set, in a dimly lit tent that glows with soft hanging colors. The melodies give no room for rowdiness, instead provoking a more pull than push show. The song could be the preview to a great rock ballad of theirs in the future.
And then we’re greeted with Tiny Tyrant and The Avant Groove. The song feels almost out of place when you first hear the deep funky bass licks bouncing out of your speakers. And while the song isn’t the funkiest thing to come out since Dumpstafunk, from what I hear, The Agori Tribe could label themselves a funk band, play solely funk music, and no one would ever be the wiser. But as the rest of the album has shown, that would be a considerable misuse of talent.

One recurring thought I had when listening to this album was “I wonder what they sound like live?” Now this probably isn’t an unusual question for the seasoned jam/live music veteran, but for an album to try to bring the melodic heaviness, then so suddenly decide to funk it up, then giving birth to the Latin and reggae vibes that is the song Jamaisa all the while keeping a steady feel of jazz and rock in the background really makes me curious as to how this band does live. For how much the album changes in tempo and sound, it’s produced wonderfully. From raging rock solos and heavy progression, to relaxed jazz filled with harmonic piano and swooning saxophone pieces, every strum and note is crystal clear. But if you’re a genre purist at heart, than this album isnt for you. RCT refuses to stick to any single sound for longer than a song. If you’re a fan of musical diversity, then I recommend giving the album a listen to.