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Tuatara: Underworld

Instrumental supergroup’s first release in seven years.

Their profile has been minuscule and their output sporadic, but this soundtrack-oriented collective led by erstwhile Screaming Trees drummer Barrett Martin are now on to their seventh album.

Although this 20-song set once again features REM’s Peter Buck and Pearl Jam’s Mike McCready, it’s anything but a showcase for individual talents – this is mood music all the way, a brooding, almost new-agey soundscape allegedly based on the theme of a descent into a subterranean netherworld.

As such it’s highly agreeable background music for those who prefer to keep the curtains closed. The murky, sax-strewn swamp blues of Ghosts Of The City stands out, offset by the more expansive, spacey textures of Descension and Bass Beat Blues, before the smokey, jazz-inflected vistas of The Realm Of Shades close the album in suitably murky, mystical style.