Release Date: May 15, 2012
Record label: Slumberland
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock
These days, everybody seems to be getting back together. Whether it’s something in the air, this current generation’s infatuation with yesteryear (late 80s/early 90s reboot, now with less Skidz), current project purgatory, reconciliation of feuding members, or boredom, there is little to indicate exactly why everyone is giving their old projects a second (or third) go. Maybe it’s for money; maybe it’s a way to reinsert their place in history — the case varies from band to band.
Every copy of Black Tambourine's OneTwoThreeFour should come with a disclaimer, a big Surgeon General's sticker alerting listeners to exactly what they're getting into. “Warning: This is not a comeback album. It's not even really a reunion album, either. Expecting something monumental may cause disappointment.” Consisting of four covers of classic Ramones songs, this ten-minute EP isn't about a pioneering twee band reclaiming its rightful place at the top of the fuzz-pop dog pile.
It’s fitting that the seminal late ‘80s/early ‘90s American quasi-shoegazer band Black Tambourine have finally come out of retirement after some 20-plus years to release an EP, notwithstanding a set of songs they recorded for their 2010 eponymous retrospective record. It’s fitting, considering the entire Black Tambourine catalogue was issued initially either on seven-inch singles or compilations, so the fact that their first bona fide reunion statement is a four song extended play is rather apropos. What’s a bit surprising is that it’s a covers EP.
Black Tambourine existed only briefly in the early ‘90s, scattering a handful of tracks across EPs and compilations. The band’s output was limited, but the strength of the songs made up for their paucity. In front of walls of thorny guitar feedback, singer Pam Berry conversed about love and loss with the naÃ¯veté of Phil Spector’s girl groups, her “cute” voice exuded innocence.