Tango Alpha Tango
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Tango Alpha Tango

Portland, Oregon, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2013

Portland, Oregon, United States
Established on Jan, 2013
Band Rock Pop




"Tango Alpha Tango Solo Show Preview"

Nathan Trueb may best be known for his work with Tango Alpha Tango, but he shines just as brightly as a solo artist. A vivid performer, his vocals are smooth and polished, full of emotive energy. His lyrics are stylishly original, full of contemplative harmony and progression. Combining classic pop and low-down folk rock, Trueb puts on an intimate and intricately awarding show. - Mississippi Studios

"Tango Alpha Tango- (Seattle)-Should Assisst in Adoption of Bluesy Up-and-Comers"

The rivalry between Portland and Seattle is unmentioned on this blog. I won’t give it voice here. I’ll just say, we locals get a bit tired of bands from the city with the NBA team. I won’t explain it, because it gets nasty quick– something about all their bands acting like a rock concert is music theater with jazz hands, and all our bands looking at our own feet all through the gigs. But it’s much more.

I won’t go on with that. I will say that I got over my, as Philip Roth would say, Portland complaint, the day I shared a bill with the fabulous band Tango Alpha Tango.

Check this video from their kickstarter: (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1041517792/tango-alpha-tango-lets-make-a-recordor-two?ref=live)

Okay, now about Tango Alpha Tango. They’re polite. They sound fantastic. They rock. And they have no freaking complaints. They seem to have made a policy of circling back to the Comet Tavern every month, and building an audience the honest, old-fashioned way. With a good show.

I’ve wanted to write about them for a while, but, in my opinion, their live show so surpasses their recordings I just didn’t want to give the wrong impression. That said, their kickstarter video actually has a sound that is closer to where they are now.

I know that Seattle, strangely enough home to one of the greatest blues guitarists in the history of music, is not so much a blues town– though I hope GravelRoad and Lonesome Shack can help change that. But I think we should officially immediately adopt Tango Alpha Tango. A band with chops, not too derivative, that understands hard work, and a band that, you know, looks pretty cool but not posery. Eh?

I’m particularly happy about the gig tonight at the Comet Tavern, because this looks to be the best of Portland and Seattle. Seattle’s Slow Skate, who started out great years ago when they were featured on NPR, then got better working with Ball of Wax, are opening the night. I would also suggest that perhaps Jason Goessl of Slow Skate and Nathan Trueb of Tango Alpha Tango somehow trade licks at some point of the night.

One more thing. This concert is taking place at the Comet Tavern. If you haven’t been there recently, you need to revisit it. The place has been redone. Severely. There’s now a stage. And proper sound. - Ball of Wax Quarterly

"Tango Alpha Tango- album review"

The new, self-titled release from Portland band Tango Alpha Tango sits in that uncomfortable place between EP and full-length—it runs seven songs, just under half an hour—but everything else about the record fits perfectly. Starting with the laidback country swoon of "Oh Mama," the quartet then launches into a slow-building motorik guitar riff in "Mona Lisa's Death." Elsewhere, the band continues that expert and surprising balance of folk noir and space rock, even finding room for a glossy pop chorus in "Give of the Summer." There isn't a single wrong move on Tango Alpha Tango; "This City" rears an angry, stoner blues riff in the middle of a tightly knotted funk strut, and as clunky as that sounds, it works brilliantly. On record, Tango Alpha Tango continues to make some confoundingly good work, following up 2008's Rebel Sons of Cowboys with a collection of adventurous and admirable rock and roll. -NED LANNAMANN - Portland Mercury

"Tango Alpha Tango"

After the Carolines split a couple years ago, Nathan and Aaron Trueb formed Tango Alpha Tango, while the remaining members teamed up with Derby's Nat Johnson to form Deepest Darkest. Both bands are logical extensions of the Carolines' unpretentious, melodic pop. Deepest Darkest go for shiny, sheen-y, radio-friendly, classicist rock, with every note carefully in place and every timbre in perfect relief. As generic as that could seem, the songs are mighty fine, and the relaxed, sun-faded vibe is a comfortable fit. Tango Alpha Tango have a bit more urgency to their sound, and cultivate a delicate, damaged beauty; the songs are either folkier and more pointed, or trashier and glammier—more suited for the bedroom than Deepest Darkest's convertible-with-the-top-down groove. It's a genuine pleasure, and no slight against what came before, that both bands are better than the Carolines ever were, and sure, it's not exactly fair, or necessary, to pit the two against the past or each other—but when both share the bill, comparisons are inevitable.

- Portland Mercury

"Tango Alpha Tango"

Some bands will travel fine on a CD. They come across well, more or less the way they intended. After all, recording is an art in and of itself. However, every now and then comes along a band that requires the listener to take the next step to get the full experience of the group, beyond what spins in your stereo.
Tango Alpha Tango is one of those bands.

- Daily Vanguard

"Show Preview"

You could argue that Tango Alpha Tango's sound is the most seductive thing to come out of Portland since Elliott Smith crooned, "Sexy energy makes me charming when I sing." But instead of bated breath and acoustic guitars, Tango relies on slinking bass lines and lyrics so enticing they feel like they're being whispered in your ear during a slow dance. Songs like "Twelve Step" showcase the band's ability to combine their swagger and stealth with just enough California-sunshine pop to keep the audience gently swaying along with them. And after a string of shows at Portland's famed Doug Fir Lounge, Tango Alpha Tango is ready to hit the road and bring the sexiness straight to you.

- Seattle Weekly

"Show Preview"

Tango Alpha Tango makes exactly the kind of rock ’n' roll I can get behind; it’s sweeping, dramatic and unapologetically evil at the most surprising of moments. Formed from one half of the recently disbanded Carolines (the other half of which went on to create Deepest Darkest), Tango Alpha Tango tempers its pop leanings with an aggressiveness that adds a pleasant layer of grime beneath the shine of the group’s top-notch production and ass-tight songwriting. What comes out of this aesthetic pairing is gorgeous and engaging in a way that fully exploits this unity of opposites.

- Willamette Week


Still working on that hot first release.



Tango Alpha Tango isn't the band it once was. The tried-and-true riffage and raw psychedelia, once the cornerstones of singer-guitarist Nathan Trueb's particular brand of blues, have recently given way to a more pop-friendly kind of rock, as evident on the band's latest release, White Sugar. Songs like "I Gotta Girl" and the title track showcase familiar distortion and chugging electric guitar, though the rest are more polished and subdued. "People," for instance, has a carnivalesque design that banks on a lofty chorus and drummer Joey Harmon's fills, while "Lonely" takes a more soulful approach to heartbreak before turning to chiming guitars and an accepting mentality that echos Tom Petty's comeback album, Wildflowers. Trueb's bright guitar work is tighter than ever throughout, lined with fluttering bits of jazz and improvisation that build upon his subtle interplay with his wife, Mirabai, and Harmon. "I'll take you anyway I please/You might be the last thing that I need," he sings over the spare backdrop and gently plucked guitar of "Gasoline." He might be getting softer, but his music is better for it.

Band Members