TUNS (named after the Technical University of Nova Scotia) is a Canadian indie “supergroup” consisting of Chris Murphy (Sloan), Matt Murphy (Super Friendz, Flashing Lights) and Mike O’Neill (The Inbreds). And TUNS doesn’t lean on any one member to make it special, it combines the strengths and experience of each member to deliver a pure power pop treasure.
Opening with the jangling upbeat melody of “Back Among Friends” where “good times, band times, never gets old.” Next “Mixed Messages” has a jaunty beat and winding lead similar to Squeeze, while the handclaps and thick riffs of “Mind Over Matter” just sink into your brain. The slow, hazy beat on “Look Who’s Back In Town Again” is infectious, just oozing psychedelic reverb. Each track is a tightly structured gem and this 9 track album deserves a spot on my 2016 top ten list.
Teenage Fanclub “Here”
As a band evolves and its vision clarifies, you get a good feel of a where its members hearts and minds are at. And what the band feels at this point is pure love and gratitude. “I’m in Love” is the most optimistic song I’ve ever heard from the Teenage Fanclub, a rich uplifting melody and the hushed harmonies on “Thin Air” display their adult wisdom, a perfect example of Adult Oriented Power Pop (AOPP) with the comforting rhythm of electric guitars. The hooks continue on the song “Hold On” where Norman Blake gives his audience advice “Hold on to your life and your dreams.”
All these songs share a theme of enjoying the short moment of time we have left on this planet. From the chiming chorus on“The Darkest Part of The Night” to the guitar buzz on “I Have Nothing More to Say,” it stays on point. The tempos gradually slow, so by the time we get to “Live in The Moment” a bit of message fatigue sets in. Vocalist Raymond McGinley soothing lead approaches a zen-like calm on “Steady State,” but goes darker on “With You,” where your fear that “life is short and life is long.” It ends on the sobering acoustic chamber pop of “Connected To Life.” Overall a solid, highly recommended album that crosses from joy to “disappear into shadows in the night.”