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Posted on July 15th, 2013 (7:34 am) by Ryan French

In early May, I reviewed Whistle Peak and have been listening to them steadily ever since – and what they’d released was a B-side collection, although lead singer Billy Petot said the majority of the release were hits more than B-sides. The whimsy present on the album was one of the most enjoyable aspects, and Tunng’s Turbines plays in much the same way. Tunng’s playfulness is slightly more controlled, showing the signs – for better or worse, depending on your taste – of a more experienced group.

I’ve taken a full-time job bagging candy in my hometown to try to de-stress a bit over summer break before returning to school and internships and beautiful women. The majority of my time is spent mentally checked out constructing music videos to songs in my head. Turbines will contribute a few additions to this mental playlist – there’s catchy stuff here that’s worth a listen – stuff that’s good music.

The first song to really catch my attention was the more somber “By This”. Tunng put together a beautiful co-ed call and answer that’s brought in by a quiet sample of odd sounding vocals. But even as the song is slower and more melodic, “By This” doesn’t lack energy thanks to a subtle but frantic backbeat. “So Far From Here” is another song whose slower vocals are helped along by a quick pace from the instrumentals – keeping things interesting as the instruments hint at more urgency while the voices are calm. Finally “So Far From Here” is transformed into something really special when samples sounding like airy musical cartoon duck quacks (in a good way) chime in with a minute left on the track.

All the tracks on Turbines offer an interesting element. On “Heavy Rock Warning”, a bubbling, science fiction-ish oscillation traps your ear to the song. On “Once”, a Pinback style introduction is underscored by light hazy distortion but rooted in a constant electronic swirl. All this sound leads to an atmospheric album that has surprises in the deepest parts of songs. The first few seconds of “Trip Trap” sounds like the entrance to the Pittsburgh Zoo’s rainforest room with electronic bird chirps sounding off in the corners of your headphones. The song then slouches from a catchy, hook driven track to a darker but quick one. And while Whistle Peak’s music may be more experimental in ways, Tunng shows on Turbines that experience does create great results as well. This is an album I’ll be listening to for a while just like their Kentucky genre-mate’s.

Track List:
1. Once
2. Trip Trap
3. By This
4. The Village
5. Bloodlines
6. Follow Follow
7. So Far From Here
8. Embers
9. Heavy Rock Warning

Purchase at: Amazon | eMusic

Our Rating

77 / 100
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