Album Review – Tuning By Mauno (2017) (Tin Angel Records)

This band are frequently described as belonging to the ‘experimental pop’ genre. Whatever that means as opinions vary. In my mind the genre conjures up images of Radiohead disappearing up their southernmost orifices in the aural assault of assorted laptop noises that signaled their Kid A album. As such I was surprised at a Twitter followers glowing recommendation of this release.


My fears were allayed after just one listen. For once the experiment of ‘experimental pop’ seems to have provided us with an absolute gem. Sure enough the bleeps, bloops and assorted mobile phone noises are omnipresent, but on this rare occasion they actually serve to create an atmosphere that fills in the gaps between the wonderfully strange jangling guitar melodies that are always within touching distance despite the inconsistent general dynamism of the total listening experience.

Such dynamism sees tracks such as Hand and the brilliant Helah (see below) back the terse staccato picked jangling guitars (its a wonderful aesthetic /sound that brings with it wonderfully strange imaginings of Jamiroquai meets the Fire Engines) with the vocals of Nick Everett giving immediate Elbow or Fake Plastic Trees era Radiohead vibes. Its weird…but embues a strange and beautiful intensity to it, that is rarely experienced.

Helah

The dynamism is also reflected in the polar opposites of tracks such as Com and Other Bad. Com is all playful indie rock with sparse guitar melodies in the a manner that references the Postcard-isms of a band like Josef K and adds yet another string to an extremely eclectic musical bow. Similarly this spirit of eclecticism is emphasized by the sharing of vocal duties between Everett and Eliza Niemi, with the female fronted tracks such as Other Bad (see the brilliant live version belowadding the sort of chic indie that currently cool artists like Anna Burch epitomize.         

 Other Bad               

This Novia Scotia based Canadian outfit have started to get the sort of critical acclaim that their innovation deserves with the popularity garnered from the recent Nov/Dec 2017 national tour now acting as the platform to justify a 12 town/city tour of the US in March 2018 (details below).

Hopefully the musically discerning indie crowds in America will recognize their sheer brilliance as much as I do…either way, they will, at the very very least, be remembered by all who see them.

Artist Links

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Label Links


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