San Francisco band the Tunnel makes spooky art punk blues, a blend of noisy noir (e.g., Swans, Young Widows, Dead Rider) and haunted sensuality (Siouxsie and the Banshees’ “Kaleidoscope,” the Birthday Party’s “Mutiny”).
More intimate and spacious than the Tunnel’s previous record, “Sultry Daggers,” “Apparition Overdrive” was written collectively by two new collaborators, drummer Jon Weiss (Jello Biafra, Helios Creed, Horsey) and Rowland S Howard-esque guitarist Gregory James, along with the returning Sam Black (bass/electronics) and Jeff Wagner (vocals/guitar).
Dark melodies insinuate themselves through these spare songs, alternately driving (“The Visitant”, “Curse of Winter”, “Restless City”) and cinematic (“Crooked Arms”, “What Can Never Be.”) The
unhinged title track, “Apparition Overdrive,” sounds like a one-off collaboration between Gene Vincent and Al Jourgensen. Prowling post-punk rhythms evolve into eerie, electric fever dreams (“Binary”, “Phantasmic”) and American nightmares rear their pretty heads (“The Hills”, “Lights”.) Throughout, Wagner’s tales of love and loss are disguised as lurid pulp: Dark Science incantations, demon-chasing hot-rods, and doomed outer-space rivalries between aristocratic snake and rat creatures.
some press for the Tunnel:
“Inhabits a genuinely compelling other world from commencement to termination...This is one fuck-off of a disc” -Julian Cope, Head Heritage (UK)
“Like an inspired meeting of the minds from Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds circa TENDER PREY, Gun Club, mid-period Swans, and Television...How often do you stumble across an album whose every song is stunning?” -RKF, theonetruedeadangel.blogspot.com
“Swaggers through a doomed and noir-ish landscape of abandoned taverns and spectral red light districts” -Jennifer Kelly, dustedmagazine.com
"Tom Waits meets Rob Zombie with some German expressionism thrown in...this would be my soundtrack to sit brooding in a dimly lit room late at night, plotting the gruesome demise of all my enemies."
-Lord Kveldulfr, Razorcake
“the noise rock feel and dirty groove of the band...works really well. But what the band’s doing the best is creating a dark and mysterious atmosphere that evokes something like a haunted, old and smoky cabaret noir."
-Blasting Days (France)
"Drawing on both the decadent ambience of gothic rock and the dissonant clash of postpunk, the trio glides like a shark through eight tales of sex, death and altered states of consciousness, leaving a trail of blood and glitter behind it."
-Michael Toland, blurt-online.com