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Tambersauro

Tambersauro

Tambersauro


Tambersauro is a Houston trio comprised of bassist/vocalist Jeff Price, guitarist Mike Blackshear and drummer/electronics worker Lance Higdon. They started playing together in November of 2003, aiming to create a new synthesis between the complex intensity of math rock, the melodic introspection of late-90's emo, and the marginal vocabularies available in free improvisation, jazz, funk, and Afro-Cuban music. Convened in such a spirit of opposition to their era and locale that they initially desired never to have a band name Read more on Last.fm
Tambersauro is a Houston trio comprised of bassist/vocalist Jeff Price, guitarist Mike Blackshear and drummer/electronics worker Lance Higdon. They started playing together in November of 2003, aiming to create a new synthesis between the complex intensity of math rock, the melodic introspection of late-90's emo, and the marginal vocabularies available in free improvisation, jazz, funk, and Afro-Cuban music. Convened in such a spirit of opposition to their era and locale that they initially desired never to have a band name, Tambersauro set a daunting path for their ensuing future as a band with no real place to call home both conventionally and categorically. Meeting every week at Jeff's house/studio in the northwest Houston suburbs, Tambersauro began to arrange their disparate influences into a workable whole. Their first song appeared on Price's “Esotype records Compilation One | A Symposium on the Real Life Threats of You and Me.” The seeds of their fundamental musical approach were all apparent: asymmetrical meters, sinewy, glissando-laden bass lines, wiry guitar work interspersed with melancholy chord progressions, urgent and indignant shouts and sulking whispers.

After making their live debut at the Rayford Road Community Center as part of the “Esotype records Compilation One” release show in 2004, the band set about to record their first EP, known as "Box=Box" for its ideogrammic cover design. It was also this year that Jeff proposed adopting the uniform anonymity of jumpsuits for live shows, which only heightened the utter otherness for a band playing such schizophrenic rock music in Houston at the time. "Box=Box" was released on Esotype records in February 2006, a year that saw them play with Gospel, Sinews and Kayo Dot among others. One such “other” band was Sacramento's progressive hardcore trio The Blue Letter, who felt an aesthetic and spiritual affinity with Tambersauro. After a short series of emails, it was concluded that the two bands would release a split 10" single on Esotype.

Since The Blue Letter already had an 11-minute song, "The Day the Sky Turned Black,” ready to put to press, Tambersauro dug in for several weeks to compose what some consider their definitive song, "One Picture Frame And One Half Of A Picture.” Written as an audio triptych, the song showed the disparate elements of Tambersauro's sound were becoming more comfortably and intuitively knit together, from the "YYZ" worship of its opening riff to the atmospheric caress of its extended middle section. In a nod to the California boys on the A side, the song concludes with a shredding guitar riff and some unapologetic screaming (in Latin, the first of several times classicist Lance would insert the lingua antiqua onto the lyrics sheet). Pressed to orange and white marbled vinyl by Pirate's Press, “The Blue Letter & Tambersauro” split 10" was released in February 2007, only a year after "Box=Box.” In addition to playing with Hollywood Black, The Nautical Mile and Tugnut, the band had the good fortune to undertake a 9-date tour of Texas and the Midwest to make 2007 their most expansive year playing live to that date. It was an especially sweet time for the band, making new friends especially with the great people in groups like Muscle Brain, Sleep State and Cracker Creeptacular, catching up with old ones and playing some very memorable shows along the way.

On the tour, Tambersauro was performing new songs for what would become their first full-length album, “Theories of Delusional Origin.” Like "One Picture Frame and One Half of a Picture," these songs were written largely in the sweltering garage-turned-practice space of Carlford Manor, Lance's college rent house. Fueled by dinners consumed at El Rey Taqueria and an ever-increasing chemistry and technical proficiency, Tambersauro reached the zenith of their kitchen-sink approach to composition. Songs like "Blue and White Fragments," "Over and Down" and especially "Make Water Sand" saw the band moving through improvisational freak outs to diamond-cut prog runs to Mike's now-familiar arpeggiated, finger picked melodies in the course of a single song. “Theories of Delusional Origin” was released in the September of 2008.

After the release of “Theories” and several more shows in 2008, the band agreed that it was time to reign in some of their more frenetic tendencies and challenge themselves to approach writing and recording in a different way. The resulting set of songs on their latest album entitled “From the Last Day I Saw You” is notable for streamlining Tambersauro's sound into something slightly more linear and much stronger melodically and lyrically. Conceptually centered on the frustrations of the working life and the gutter-grade manipulations of the celebrity/political media machine, it is also the fiercest. Realizing the unique power of the songs, Tambersauro elected to record simultaneously in the studio directly to 2 inch tape under the careful engineering eye of Andrew Hernandez.

Featuring guest spots from friends and family Scott Ritter, Evan Lecker, Caleb Price and Marshall Walker among others, it is a personal milestone for a band continuing to chart their own musical path despite a lack-luster response and only a hint of a following from their local scene and outward. Tambersauro took another brief tour of some of their favorite cities in August of 2009. The tracking of “From the Last Day I Saw You” was finished in late August of 2009 and the album was released on May 11th, 2010. Currently, Tambersauro is on extended hiatus. For now, the members of Tambersauro are pursuing different musical and artistic paths as well as developing their professional careers.

Lance is now living in San Antonio, Texas teaching Latin. Mike and Jeff are still living in Houston, Texas and are currently working together in a new project. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..

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