The Tobermory 10 begins with a flash of honey or syrup, a brief delight like that of the detached spectacle of musket fire before the realization that you are its target--and that you never had the chance to have children...or sex, for that matter. And so the initial taste of sweetness quickly gives way to an infelicitous experience. A cresting wave of bitterness, as when wracked with chest pains you search for a glass of water to convince an extravagance of baby aspirin into your stomach. And the bitterness remains, like a pinch of week’s-old, chalk-tray dust, the residue of a failed equation wiped away in angry strokes. And still the bitterness remains: a dozen Ticonderoga number-two pencils ground in a lava-rock mortar, the dusty pile of which is poured gently into a hollowed-out apple as part of an imagined gift to a hated teacher you haven’t the courage to confront otherwise. Gratefully, water brings a reminder of the initial sweetness though now, chastened, you can recognize its nature—acesulfame perhaps, but more like a synthetic fructooliosaccharide. For all of this, however, the finish is not terrible. In fact it enrobes the tongue in the consoling taste of the currency of a former Eastern bloc nation held in a street vendor’s pocket.
The Tobermory 10 is Assück--With a drummer named Rob Proctor, it is so thoroughly what it is that no diacritical mark is necessary.