Dark Songs Of The Prairie, the first full-length album from Denver's ACROSS TUNDRAS, holds eight portraits of heavy majesty carved out of massive syrup riffage and spacious melodies. It's almost like hearing some mysterious 70's country rock outfit thawed out and refitted with mighty amplification, sludgecore tempos, and shoegazey shimmer that conjures up visions of the wide open prairies and looming mountains of the band's home territory. As weighty as the melodic heaviness coming from the from the whole "post-metal" camp, but coming from a different place altogether, ACROSS TUNDRAS draw a tangential line from Neil Young to HUM to NEUROSIS, and unleash a powerful new statement of rustic, crushing Americana. Features former members of Sioux Falls, SD post-hardcore outfits SPIRIT OF VERSAILLES and EXAMINATION OF THE...
REVIEW FROM DECIBEL MAGAZINE:
What with Deadwood a now-indelible part of the national consciousness, its Shakespearian dialogue, shit-kicker palace intrigue, and hand-to-hand ultra-violence making for some of the finest drama on American TV, it’s time we give a pound to the Dakota territories. Across Tundras hail from just such a place—Sioux Falls, in fact—though their bio places them firmly in their adopted home city of Denver, which not only has no cool TV shows about it, but is mere miles from Rocky Flats, where they used to makes nukes.
Wherever they call home, the trio, which contains members of Spirit of Versailles and Examination of the…, plays pure Western music, vast expanses of guitar crunch that owe as much to the wide open spaces of Morricone soundtrack vistas as Neurosis’ San Francisco bonfires and the mind-expanding buzz of Crazy Horse. Now, don’t expect any of Ennio’s twang—this is the album the Neil Young of Earth-2 made with Black Sabbath. (I think it was called Everyone Knows This Is Sweet Leaf. Or was it Cortez the War Pig? Six of one, either way.)
Most of the songs are power trio whump ‘n’ roar, but both “The Old Sexton” and “Aura Lea, Maid of Gold Hair” are overblown acoustic sing-along/rants worthy of Royal Trux at its most fried, the ramble-tamble sound of filthy zombie hippies around the campfire chewing on the flesh of meth-addled bikers dumb enough to camp in their territory. You cocksuckers and hoopleheads need to know: Thar be the new West, here be the new Westerners.
REVIEW FROM TERRORIZER MAGAZINE:
If ever an album title so aptly described the contents within, the debut from Denver's Across Tundras would be the one. Throughout the course of its 51-minutes, you're teleported, via a delectable mix of twangy,
barbiturate-infused outlaw country, colossal post-metal a la Pelican/Isis
and stirring indie shoegaze, to the dusty trails and backroads connecting
America's ghost towns, where everyone rolls their own smokes, facial hair
is not an urban trend and the alcohol comes from bathtub stills. Across
Tundras can crush with the most crushing, as exemplified by vocalist/guitarist Tanner Olson's interplay with the unnervingly raw sounding drums in 'Ramblin' In The Shadows' and the title track. The plodding string trills and superb chord progression of 'If God Cuts You Down' adds to the music's transient and nomadic feel as do the vistas featured in the booklet photography, while 'The Old Sexton' and 'Aura Lea, Maid Of Golden Hair' are two filmic drones that could be precursors to a Sergio Leone-directed gunfight. 'Dark Songs Of The Prairie' has all that, plus the distinction of being that rare extreme music album that can take you back to a time where men were men and sheep were nervous. KEVIN STEWART-PANKO