The tunnel-Sultry daggers (2012)
Last month I reviewed Fathoms deep, a record released by a band from San Fransisco called The tunnel. it's a really good record (read my review HERE). So I was very pleased to find in my malbox the other day a mail from their singer/guitarist Jeff Wagner informing me that that were releasing their new record called Sultry daggers! and what's cool also is that I was not at all disapointed when I listened to it. the quality and character of their music is still here.
their sound is made of clean but tortured vocals, sharp post-punk guitars and their rythmic section are now more on the front, stressing the noise rock feel and dirty groove of the band. And it works really well. But what the band's doing the best is creating a dark and mysterious atmosphere that evoques something like an haunted, old and smoky cabaret noir.
listen to it on their Bandcamp
check their website
and read this interview with Jeff and Sam from The tunnel :
-tell us about the beginnings of The tunnel?
Pat and I met at a deathrock club. We started a 2-man band, a metal
drummer and a goth/theatrical singer/guitarist playing a dark
stripped-down blues. Then Josh Layton played guitar with us for awhile
and brought the rocknroll, and for the past 2 years Sam Black's bass
and electronics have added the low-frequency lushness.
-you just released a new record called Sultry Daggers, a few words about it?
vivid, electric, strange...Sam says: glossy, viscid...
-I read that the time between Fathoms deep and Sultry daggers were
hard times for you, how does this affected the written of Sultry
Yes, I broke lots of bones in an accident, and wrote many songs
during my recovery. Isolation lends itself to weirdness.
-what about your lyrics?
I like to tell cinematic stories that entertain and challenge myself,
at the very least. Sam says they are cinematic visions, characters
communicating through the songs.
-seems to me that on Sultry daggers the bass and drums are more
formward in the mix, pushing more your sound in a noise rock
direction, do you agree?
Yes, I think we tried to downplay that direction in our past records,
and strove instead to create fragile organic textures. This time we
let the noise come, restraint be damned. Also Sam did the tracking and
Chris Crawford who did the mix is a drummer, so the rhythm section got
some special attention.
-which is your favourite song on the record and Why?
Right now probably "Confessor". The undignified last rants of a
murdered man, in all their mood-swinging glory.
-a few words about the video you did for "Shed the skin"?
We filmed all night. It originally featured multiple Film Noir
stories. We kept removing subplots until there was no plot, only
images. Sam says: inky black and white textures, intensity realized.
-are you touring to present Sultry daggers, what else is planned for
the end of 2012 and 2013?
Yes, we are finally working on a new live set. We're looking forward
to performing it live in January in San Francisco.
-which little known band form the San Fransisco area would you recommend?
Faun Fables, or Hammers of Misfortune, or the Slow Poisoner. Or the
late, great, Pleasure Forever.
-your favourite records for 2012 so far?
hm, probably "Journey to the Far Side of the Room" by Kingdom of Not,
still due to be officially released, any day now. I cannot even begin
to describe their madness. Sam says "Wreck" by Unsane.
-a few words about your solo project?
more theatrical than the Tunnel..1970s exploitation films, 1950s
rockabilly, Beefheart, gothic noise, etc.
-any final "full of wisdom" sentence to close the interview?
I'll quote the murdered guy: "Life is so precious and vicious..."