Release Date: Aug 26, 2016
Record label: Royal Mountain
While TUNS vocalist/guitarist Matt Murphy explains quite tunefully on "Back Among Friends" that its three members have experienced a mix of good times and bad times together, their self-titled debut may be one of the more all-out joyful releases of the year. Just a couple of songs later, in fact, bassist Mike O'Neill offers up a most goofy, but earnest-as-hell assertion that he's "having an awesome time."If you grew up on the collective songbooks of their Super Friendz, Sloan and the Inbreds, chances are you'll be grinning just as big over this latest release. Certainly, parts of the record could be likened to the former Haligonians' halcyon days.
The term “supergroup” can be the cause of ecstasy or anguish when applied to one’s favorite musicians. Sometimes differing musicians can reinvent themselves or find a new route to follow, as is the case with supergroups from the Eric Clapton/Ginger Baker collaboration Cream to the recent chart-topping partnership between Skrillex and Diplo, Jack Ü. Far too often, however, supergroups become a gimmick as opposed to a band worthy of listening to—does Hollywood Vampires ring a bell? TUNS is a Canadian supergroup that unites the indie rock stylings of Sloan’s Chris Murphy, The Inbreds’ Mike O’Neil, and Super Friendz’s Matt Murphy.
Followers of East Coast indie rock have been anticipating this debut self-titled album since last October, when the group made up of Chris Murphy (Sloan) on drums and vocals, Matt Murphy (Super Friendz/the Flashing Lights; unrelated to Chris) on guitar and vocals and Mike O'Neill (the Inbreds) on bass and vocals revealed itself at a surprise show at Massey Hall. We've been hearing regularly from Chris via long-running power-pop four-piece Sloan and intermittently from O'Neill, who has released a number of solo records and written film soundtracks. Matt, however, has been mostly quiet and greatly missed.
It's been a rather emotional beginning of September for those who are wholly enraptured with Nick Cave's chilling Skeleton Tree. But if you've been looking for some music to decompress with, then the past month featured some rather great offerings. My top choice for the month goes to the singular ….