(2017) Tuesday the Sky: Drift (English)

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Artist: Tuesday the Sky
Album: Drift
Release: 30.06.2017
Label: InsideOut


It’s no secret that Jim Matheos is one of my favorite musicians. As the captain of progressive metal pioneers Fates Warning and the other half of the OSI duo, this American guitarist has crafted an impressive body of work, on top of which he’s made three solo albums and worked with ex-Fates Warning singer John Arch in Arch/Matheos. Tuesday the Sky is yet another addition to the ever-creative man’s CV; an instrumental rock outfit expanding on what was originally meant to be just a Fates Warning bonus track.


According to Matheos, the songs typically started with him experimenting with guitar effects and then coming up with musical ideas, rather than the other way round. The album should indeed tickle the fancy of guitarists and sound geeks: from the cool tremolo of “Far and Away” to the mysterious tones of “Dyatlov Pass,” Matheos masters the use of soundscapes. To give a brief description of the music on Drift, I’d say it’s like post-rock, except not boring. The drummer on the album is Lloyd Hanney of God is an Astronaut, which makes these genre comparisons even more inevitable. I’ve tried giving a chance to bands like Sigur Ros, but my general problem with post-rock is that the songs often seem to take an eternity to build up. Tuesday the Sky avoids this pitfall, as no song on the album grinds on and on endlessly – the 4-7-minute length within which the songs stay really is the sweet spot for this kind of music. The almost-self-titled track, “Today the Sky”, is a good flagship for what the album is all about, as the song grows and blooms gracefully from the quiet beginning like the prettiest flowers. “It Comes in Waves” is the absolute gem here, moving effortlessly from light to melancholy just like a day, from a sunny noon to a sunset. “Kite” should warm the hearts of shoegaze listeners (including yours truly), and the way the song maintains its beauty even during the sudden surge of noisy distortion at the end is incredible.

It’s cool how Drift covers plenty of new ground, yet at the same time you can hear Matheos’ mark all over the compositions and playing. A leopard can’t change its spots: “Dyatlov Pass” gets rather metallic and Fates Warning-reminiscent towards the end (maybe this was the song that got everything started?), the glitchy vocals (courtesy of Anna-Lynne Williams, who also lends her wordless singing to the serene “Westerlies”) on “Vortex Street” must’ve been influenced by Matheos’ OSI past, and “Roger Gordo” takes advantage of spoken word samples like both of the aforementioned bands have. Speaking of that, Matheos’ OSI collaborator – another hero of mine – Kevin Moore only appears on two tracks, although the project’s name is based on his obscure demo track “Wednesday the Sky.” Regardless, you can hear Moore’s musical fingerprints on these songs, as “It Comes in Waves” features his signature Rhodes, and the electronic sounds of the title-track are also typical of him. Although sadly new OSI doesn’t seem to be anywhere on the horizon at the moment, it’s comforting that the pair is still collaborating actively, since Matheos has also contributed some guitar to Moore’s new Chroma Key material.


The only weakness of Drift is that the album is quite front-loaded, as the best songs are in the first half. Don’t get me wrong – a track like “The Rowing Endeth” is good, but just gets overshadowed by the greatness of what’s come before it. That said, the soundscapes are fascinating, and the moods are varied enough to hold your interest – bright and warm, dark and haunting, organic and electronic. As someone who’s mainly a fan of music with vocals, I have to admit I’m not sure Drift will be on heavy rotation in my headphones, but it’s a really good record in its own right and absolutely worth your time if you’ve enjoyed Matheos’ previous work or atmospheric instrumental rock in general.

Rating: 8/10, 4 stars

1. Today the Sky
2. Kite
3. Vortex Street
4. It Comes in Waves
5. Dyatlov Pass
6. Far and Away
7. Westerlies
8. Roger Gordo
9. The Rowing Endeth
10. Drift