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Tunnel of Love | Rock N Roll Bitches | review | rock | Lollipop

Tunnel of Love

Rock 'N Roll Bitches (Mister)
by Karl Giesing

There was a time, believe it or not, when rock'n'roll used to be nothing but fun. A time after it had emerged from the ghetto of blues and rockabilly, but before its bloated corpse floated back across the Atlantic. That period that early punk rockers tried to revive (and mostly failed). These were the type of rock bands that would actually suck if they learned to play their instruments. Where pretentions of virtuosity or high art were unceremoniously chucked overboard in favor of youthful exuberance. Just as they should be.

This is the kind of rock that Tunnel of Love plays. The word "raw" should've been invented to describe this. They don't play their instruments, they beat on them. The vocals are just different degrees of screaming. There are no solos, just a three-piece drum set and distorted, open chords.

Since this type of music is currently in vogue, you'll probably read reviews comparing them to media-friendly NYC trendoids (you know who they are), but even a cursory listen to this record will reveal those forcefed faux-rockers to be mere pretenders to the throne. Because unlike those bands - whose roots-rock revivalism is just another form of marketing campaign - Tunnel of Love are obviously earnest about what they do. They play rock, pure and simple, and for no other purpose than to have fun.

This type of thing is best seen live. And they are impressive live" Impossibly skinny guys in striped leggings and cardboard crowns, jumping on top of whatever is around them (moving or not). So what you get on this record is just a taste. Not that they didn't try - it's pretty much a live recording, done on a four-track in their practice space ("before it burned down," according to the liner notes). The badly-drawn (and pornographic) packaging just adds to the flavor. And in the end, a taste of this is still better than going hungry.

So if you want rock to be affected and highbrow, with operatic song structures and twenty-minute solos, then you should stay away from this. (And you should stay away from me, too.) But if you think rock should be anything but the backing track to a car commercial, then you've probably been waiting for this for a long time.

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