Music journalists love flexing their geek on while describing the kind of music the Tunnel creates. The one that jumped out at me the most while reading through the San Francisco trio's press coverage was the writer who broke down their musical appreoach as "Tom Waits meets Rob Zombie with some German expressionism thrown in," which appeared in Razorcake.
"None of those are direct influences but they aren't far off the mark...the music, rhythms, and vocals are all supposed to provoke and convey atmosphere," vocalist/guitarist Jeff Wagner tells No Echo. "Biomechanical noise and morbid romance. Stripped down grime for claustrophobic times."
16 Horsepower and Killing Joke are two other musical artists that the Tunnel have been compared to, which No Echo won't disagree with.
The Tunnel formed back in 2008, and their latest release comes in the form of Condemned/Collapse, a 2-track EP that will arriving later this month:
Listening to the new songs, there's a nighttime sense to the tracks, almost soundtrack-like in some ways. No Echo asks Jeff if he was inspired by film music while putting the material together for the Tunnel. "Very much so," says the vocalist/guitarist. "We fill our songwriting with fragments of visuals (and the other senses) and story and film metaphors long before there are any vocals.
"Film noir, sci-fi, and horror are common references, but comparisons of choruses to specific desserts are also not unheard of."
Condemned/Collapse was recorded and mixed by Jordan Sobolew (Reptoid) and mastered by Kyle Spence (Harvey Milk, J Mascis). Jeff handles all of the group's visuals, including the music video for "Collapse" we embedded above.
Despite the Tunnel's score-like vibes, there's also an organic, musicians in a jam room together working out the arrangements. "Yes, we all write together and work to flesh out the skeletons one of us will bring in. We like hypnotic drones and noisy accidents, but also dislike filler, so chiseling away at something until it's exciting is the challenge."
Condemned/Collapse will be out on September 25 and can be pre-ordered today.
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Tagged: the tunnel