‘Ernest’ is a highly under-used name these days

So. Bands break up. It sucks, but that’s the way of things. For most of them, the reason is pure and simple; on some level, they suck. Whether it’s only a little, or harder than a $20 hooker, it doesn’t matter; the world doesn’t lose a whole bunch. The members go on with their lives, and probably go on to make a greater impact in other areas of society. Like being a Turkey between November and December.

Then there are bands that are forced into submission for other reasons: money, conflict – both personal and artistic – or sometimes the fanbase only comes after they’re long gone.

This is a chronicle of those bands. Most you will not have heard of, for the very reason that they’re not even around to promote themselves any more. But trust me, they are bands that you really really should have heard of.

This week’s victims: Tortuga

Although fairly short-lived, Tortuga were destined for the spotlight. I hadn’t realised this before  missed out on this, but some of Tortuga were in Bossk. Any of  you who’ve been following this column will know the sheer awesomeness of that band, and so your ears will have immediately pricked up. Good doggy!

Tortuga are a different beast, however. Their sound borrows more from their other progenitors; November Coming Fire. It be straight-up hardcore. Their one album, Kings of Albany, was a hard-hitting powerhouse. Although not perfect, it showed potential for more material that unfortunately never saw the light of day.

01. The Lachrymose
02. Dance Like No-One’s Watching
03. Bury Me In You (Fatal)
04. Somethingness
05. The Laudanum Boys Cub
06. Nothingness
07. Winter’s Widow
08. The Tomb of John Wortley (1857)
09. Hell’s Red Roads
10. Something Blue
11. This Lonely Sailor

I first came across the band when they came together with Devil Sold His Soul to put out a vinyl-only split EP in 2008, which featured tracks 2 and 8 from Kings. It was a pretty affair; all red and groovy (the record, not the tunes), but as usual I digress.

The vocals of Gareth Evans are reminiscent of a cat pinioned over a recently-sharpened, operational garden shredder; harsh, to say the least. Whilst not on a level with the likes of Jacob Bannon and Dimitri Minakakis in terms of sheer power, he made up for it with the emotion kind of emotion that this kind of music is famous for – delivered with venom.

Contrasting this, some of their tracks contained more than a hint of slow, doomy riffs. It’s dichotomy in the fashion of screamo bands such as City of Caterpillar, but switching up the genres a little bit. It’s good stuff, particularly towards the middle of the album. Check it:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WLex57ytFtQ]

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3GzF0FbbKOE]

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vDADvuu3c-0]

Not a clue what they’re doing now. A lot of bands leave links to their new projects on their old websites, but there’s absolutely fuck all from Tortuga or their label, Holy Roar Records. I’d wager that some of them are, given that this isn’t the first band the members have been in, but who can say for sure?

– CG

If you have any suggestions for this column, please send them my way to chris(at)heavyblogisheavy(dot)com or leave a message in the comments section!
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