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.
Press for "Apparition Overdrive":
"I can’t remember the last time I had this much trouble describing a band...Musically, it is as if you’re able to combine The Jesus Lizard with Portishead and it somehow works."
–Ty Stranglehold, Razorcake.org
“...like Bauhaus meets the Cramps meets Iggy meets early Pere Ubu, but more sparse than any of those...Sounds like 1982, and yet fresh.” -Peter Doubt, KFJC On-Line Reviews
“Vicious and pleasurable at the same time...builds itself up from song to song and culminates now and then in a musical outburst that is actually reminiscent of a storm...dark and captivating.”
- Christian Grasse, breitband.deutschlandradiokultur.de
(Berlin public radio)
“really revel[s] in the theatrical noir and swampy post-punk that is commonly associated with The Birthday Party...The Tunnel is all in on what they are doing, down to Jeff Wagner’s vocals, which undoubtedly out duel the music itself in terms of sewer dwelling seediness.” - Jonathan Harnish, boaws.org