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Black Cloud 

The Latest from Tango Alpha Tango


Black Cloud

Tango Alpha Tango


It is easy to believe that the pauses between the songs of Portland rock outfit Tango Alpha Tango's new album Black Cloud are necessary respites allowing lead singer Nathan Trueb to wipe the sweat from his brow. These songs are hot. (Damn hot!) And the amount of teeth grinding work that went into each track is abundantly evident.

Black Cloud is a solidly crafted rock album. Starting with the first track—the aptly named "Boom Boom"—Tango Alpha Tango rumbles like a Chevy big-block engine. The music is dusty. Trueb's guitar wails like a chain saw and the gospel organ keys of his brother Aaron ignite fiery blues songs that destroy any notion these guys are just pretending to be rock and rollers.

"I try to kill the blues but they just won't wait," laments Trueb with his guttural voice echoing right before launching into a rugged guitar solo on "Kill & Haight." He is a hybrid blues and rock-and-roll artist with the seasoned chops of veterans like Buddy Guy or Stevie Ray Vaughn.

As grimy as Trueb can get, there is still room on Black Cloud for slower pop-inspired tracks like "Simplest Song" or the acoustic, sorrowful "Blood Orange," on which he harmonizes with his wife and bass player Mirabai.

Whether it's blisters on Trueb's fingers or aching muscles all over his body, the music of Tango Alpha Tango can't possibly be made without some physical repercussions. There's just too much raw emotion, too much energy invested in these tracks for them to be just banged out during a few lazy afternoon recording sessions. SW

Tango Alpha Tango

7 pm. Wednesday, June 12

Old St. Francis School / Father Luke's Room

700 NW Bond Street


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