To any passerby, Deep Turtle’s There’s a Vomitsprinkler in My Liverriver would likely just come off as some sick joke. I mean…album title included, there is nothing extremely endearing about it aesthetically. Despite the fact there is a rather hairy grown man in a tutu on the cover, Deep Turtle mean serious business. Well, perhaps serious business is a bit of an overstatement. Not to say their music isn’t tight, but their mission statement as a band is obscure and unclear. To put it simply, their music is just plain absurd. Their creative output ends up being one of the most strangely structured, and ridiculously fun albums you might ever hear. To top it off, their material is very polished and technical to lead to a genuinely enjoyable experience.
After about 20 seconds of motors and strange noises, Deep Turtle start full tilt, and continue nearly non-stop from start to finish. They play a relatively technical mix of punk, jazz, funk, math rock and too many other influences to name. Deep Turtle can’t be bound by genres though. The melodies can be lighthearted, before spiraling into dissonant mathcore-esque explosions, and than into a subtle jazz fusion section, and so on. When they aren’t focusing on intense technicality, or clever rhythms, the singer is belting out catchy and unique choruses. He can effortlessly drift between screaming and singing, switching between English and Spanish when he pleases. Not to mention that his lyrics are both interesting and clever. I can’t leave out the bass. The bass is goofy, but it’s speed and complexity demand your attention. It is an easy highlight of their playing style. Needless to say, there is always something energetic and insane going on. Their impressiveness doesn’t just end at their technical dexterity. The song structures themselves defy the conventions of a regular album.
If you choose to listen, you will may notice that each song name is three words separated by front slashes. This is because each song is really three thematically similar songs compiled into one track. The middle songs are usually some type of instrumental interlude that bears resemblance to it’s neighboring tracks. Whether it be the mood, lyrical content, or in some cases the language, there is always something that connects them together. Why? Well, it’s not really clear. To some it probably seems redundant and unnecessary, but ‘reason’ doesn’t really seem to be a strong theme to Deep Turtle. It’s quite obvious that Deep Turtle aren’t just indifferent to reason, but they purposefully fight against it. For example, if you look at the song titles some of them seem to be words in other languages or very obscure movie references, or just plain nonsense. There isn’t much in the way of reason or correlation between the actual names given. When you factor in their insane complexity and lack of regard for structure, you really are left with something that crushes reason to a pulp. As awesome as that sounds on paper, it does have it’s flaws. Vomitsprinkler is 51 minutes, which doesn’t sound long, but due to the amount of bat-shit craziness, repeated listens can be mentally exhausting. If you were to split the sub-songs up, that’s 18 songs in 51 minutes. While it doesn’t require much of an attention span, it requires mental endurance. The later songs are enjoyable, but interest dwindles as they constantly bombard you with clinically insane bass lines. That said, it’s a minor flaw in an album that is sonically ahead of it’s time.
Something about the energy of the band is accented by it’s rawness. The production lays a blanket of soft fuzz over the frantic melodies that just scream punk rock. There’s no triggered drums, or digital production here. Considering current trends, this album is the kinda thing that would make waves now a days. Back in 1994 however, the album was not well appreciated and it was critically overlooked. It may have been it’s ideas were too ahead of it’s time, or maybe something as simple as a lack of connections. Whatever the reason may be, it doesn’t exist anymore. An album like this can only really hope to thrive in today’s internet world. To this day, it still challenges (and conquers) conventions that even the most contemporary artists still struggle to overcome.
1. Tiodt / Ha-Tuzta / Tostroid
2. Bay Zutus / Cardiako / Iim
3. Valz / Hot Mambo / Antivalz
4. Ørsentipede / Supraberber / Carrier
5. Pendulum / Mikrozufé / Bourno
6. Ultrabularit / Hogtar / D’kues