Tunng | Turbines | Rating: 7/11 | Reviewed by: Rodney Schmidt |
Turbines brings a calming cool with upbeat songs and a sound that will be approved by folk music lovers whom will be forced to engage in this toe-tapping album from Tunng. This British band manages to pack a perceptible sound to the indie-folk craze that has been sweeping the world for a while now. Tunng’s past four albums have been a righteous state of being within the instrumental community and Turbines is no exception. With catchy songs like “Trip Trap” and “The Village” listeners will be filled with warmth from the sound of Tunng.
If you haven’t heard of the folk band Tunng, fear not, they are big in the UK; in America, they have a strong eclectic following from their loyal westerns. Sadly, they have not been fully conceptualized by the masses in America. They’re one of those bands that long time fans want to keep in their pocket before mainstream destroys them. They sell shows out all over the United Kingdom and Europe. Their sound is basic, but not basic like 1990’s punk, basic like simple harmonies, guitar strums, and the ever popular synthesizer time warping sound effects from every science fiction show or movie made in the past forty plus years. Think more if Miike Snow and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros had a baby.
An album highlight is a sweet light hearted song titled, “Trip Trap.” It has a nice mellow feel to it. The song starts with a synthesizer rumbling in the background and the drum pad getting pounded on in a smooth yet upbeat tempo. Later, a soft xylophone waves through the chorus resulting in a charming line being hummed out, “She’s sweet, she’s sour, a poisonous flower.” Half notes on the xylophone ring through the air providing this Zen like sound that one would hear in a Buddhist temple. The meaning of the song becomes irrelevant because the song is super pleasing to the ears. Mellow listeners in the coffee bar or college students sitting in a cannabis filled basement will absolutely love this cool relaxing song.
A major song that needs to be address is “So Far from Here.” Organ keys ringing in the background, chimes, and tapping on what sounds like congas, steel drums and maybe even glasses filled with water. It is very difficult to keep up with how many different sounds are in this song, but it reminds me of people just jamming out in their garage. People just having fun and expressing themselves. “I will run I will run…” is chanted throughout the song giving the listener this carefree sense of being. “So we drank, and we laughed and we talk over night.” The imagery is so nostalgic to anyone whom has ever sat back with friends and reminisced about times that once were.
There is no denying that Turbines is your typical mellow indie-folk record that has been done by many others, but credit is due for Tunng. They have been doing what the mainstream music scene is doing for ten years now. It wasn’t “the scene” at the time, Tunng were doing what they loved and they were doing it before most of the others. Turbines is packed with poetic ideas and thoughts dreamed up by the band, and because of that they deserve more credit than just some band singing about the wind and dancing in a drum circle. The record is entertaining and is worthy of every indie-folk lover’s attention.