[Album Review] TUNS- TUNS
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Release Date: August 26, 2016
Label: Royal Mountain Records

On album opener “Back Among Friends,” TUNS set the mood and pace for the entire tracklist with themes of friendship, youth, summer and love. From singing about “the first chord we’ve ever strummed,” to “when the summer goes cold,” TUNS hold onto a simple feeling for the nine songs featured on this relatively short, but solid debut: the feeling of “never-ending joy.” Working with a basic instrumental palette, the East Coast indie rock supergroup (featuring Sloan’s Chris Murphy, Super Friendz’ Matt Murphy and The Inbreds’ Mike O’Neill) sure know their way around a hook, as they make the most of a tried and true formula of guitar, bass and drums. Though TUNS lack in sonic variation, they use this simplicity to their advantage, allowing the songwriting and production to really shine through on songs like “Mind Your Manners” and “To Your Satisfaction.”

There’s a seamless quality and flow to the album, which can be attributed not only to said songwriting and production, but also from the effortless and energetic performances. After all, TUNS are seasoned Canadian rock veterans with a long, storied background in creating sharp, tuneful pop rock anthems. As previously mentioned, “Mind Your Manners” is the definite standout with its great combination of bright guitars, driving rhythm, and warm, fuzzy bass reminiscent of The Strokes or WAVVES. With “Throw It All Away,” another album highlight, TUNS venture heavily into early Beatles territory – think “Anna” or “I Should Have Known Better”. Although the song, and much of the album, bare a strong resemblance to early 60s rock and roll, the light, upbeat progressions and melodies manage to capture an innocent, youthful spirit preserving that “never-ending joy.”

However, TUNS can occasionally sound too familiar and a tad trite, as on “Mixed Messages” where nursery rhymes act as the bridge (“Rain rain go away, come again another day”) or “Lonely Life” with O’Neill singing “It’s my only life, and I’ll be having an awesome time.” Still, it’s hard to fault the band when they clearly are having the utmost fun – rediscovering the joy of music with nine nimble, dynamic pop rock tunes. In the end, TUNS are simply tons of fun.