Fredericton rock trio Tortue start the fall season off by sharing some of their most aggressive music to date with the politically charged single, HYB.
I couldn’t help but think of the godfathers of Canadian punk rock, D.O.A., when giving Tortue’s new single HYB (Hell Yeah Brother) a first listen. It wasn’t the music exactly, but more in the way vocalist/guitarist Aidan Bullock chose to pair a political theme with some predictable punk rock phrasing. This idea – punk and politics – is nothing new, but it does take me back to when punk rock had more aggression than the producer’s-room-teen-angst that gets passed off as punk these days. I’ve always known Tortue to be far reaching in their song structures and writing, and while HYB does include a lot of twists and turns on either end, the lyrical delivery here is among their most decidedly straightforward. I guess you could call HYB progressive punk. But I don’t think any kind of label holds to Tortue for too long. Their next single could be a ballad for all we know. Their unpredictability is part of what makes this band so exciting to follow.
“This song is as close to a punk song as I tried to get with our sound,” said Bullock. “The track speaks to the issues many face in the Maritimes due to the housing crisis and rising wage gaps. Homelessness is increasing, the healthcare system is falling apart, and many are left feeling trapped in their mundane jobs to continually fall behind as inflation increases.
“There are a lot of things wrong with the way the Maritimes are handling these issues,” he said, “but the Maritimes are home to great people and great minds. I’m sure we can make it better.”
With extended intro and foundation forming phrases building this single up from the get go, HYB packs all the creativity we’ve come to expect from the band. The musicianship is spot-on, navigating complexity with ease. The song begins with a ferocious layering of time signatures above a rising feedback pitch that builds to meet the lead, key shifting melody. All this before the first lines are sung.
HYB is the second single from Tortue to arrive in 2022 and another tease towards the band’s forthcoming album expected to land sometime in the new year.
Photo by: LMJ Photography