Tunng: Good Arrows

By: Dennis Cook

If the Magic Numbers drank more electric Kool-Aid and engaged in all manner of free lovin' they might sound like London's Tunng, the Polyphonic Spree's acoustically tilted, blissfully lysergic English cousin. If the Marc Bolan of Tyrannosaurus Rex or Mike Heron and the Incredible String Band flip your skirt up, well, you've got a new favorite band, kids.

Capable of offhanded jewels like "We're catching bullets in our teeth/It's easy if you know how it's done," Tunng move with shambling determination, a rag & bone buffet for cool, old specters given a fresh jig to dance to. Good Arrows (Thrill Jockey) is full of finger picked acoustics, hammer dulcimers and boy-girl unison singing, as on "Take" and "Spoons," leans into Steely Span-Renaissance Faire territory that's swiftly mutated by peculiar squiggles messing the edges and keeping things from ever being a retro exercise.

"Bricks" is like some delirious Dukes of the Stratosphere outtake, while "Bullets" pays their dues to the Village Green Preservation Society. Thankfully, unlike many of their peers, when Tunng comes out of the backwoods they do just fine under coastal city lights, too. They're especially grand on "Soup," which uncoils like a broken music box playing "Tubular Bells" until it snaps and a biting metal riff sands the pretty surface over a breakbeat stutter that stirs the many unidentifiable chunks in this steaming pot.

The rhythm of "Arms" and a few others seems built of crackling campfires or happily short circuiting electronics. It's the semi steadiness of it that compels, a pulse as charming for its off beats as the ones that hit square on.

That Good Arrows glides out on a whispered conveyance like "Strings" and "Cans" seems right. There's a childlike sense of wonderment that infuses this album, though one muddled by blood and bone, reality creeping into the marrow of these wide-eyed musers and charming pluckers.

JamBase | Wild World
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http://www.tunng.co.uk/

[Published on: 10/26/07]

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Comments

bananamar starstarstarstarstar Fri 10/26/2007 11:01AM
-1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

I came across this album by complete chance. I was blown away. After seeing their video for 'Bullets' for the first time I downloaded the album from itunes without even listening to any of the other songs. Then ordered the vinyl once I heard the album which actually comes with a free MP3 download of the album from thrilljockey.com. All my friends and I love this album and hopefully you will to. Check out the video for 'Bullets' on Youtube.com

Lenox starstarstarstar Mon 10/29/2007 06:44AM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Lenox

Just gave the cd a listen, its slightly better than decent, but just short of very good. The "If the Magic Numbers drank more electric Kool-Aid and engaged in all manner of free lovin' they might sound like London's Tunng, the Polyphonic Spree's acoustically tilted, blissfully lysergic English cousin." description was perfect. I will definatly give their other cd's a listen.

RothburyWithCheese star Mon 10/29/2007 09:19AM
Show -3 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!
The Grand Wazoo Mon 10/29/2007 11:53AM
+3 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

The Grand Wazoo

AHHH another comment from USCTrojan boy that nobody cares about................

RothburyWithCheese star Mon 10/29/2007 12:43PM
Show -3 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!
snappy Mon 10/29/2007 06:10PM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

snappy

Perhaps the best way to deal with someone who has a lot of free time to spill negativity on almost everything they see is to simply offer them a quiet thumbs down and stop feeding their need for attention, ego gratification, etc. It's not a conversation when someone mainly speaks in monologues.

I, for one, dig hearing about new artists I've never been exposed to but that comes with an open mind and a desire to expand one's horizons beyond their comfort zone. Plus it's nice not to piss all over the enthusiasm of others. But hey, that's just me...

loseruser Thu 11/1/2007 12:55PM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

thanks, i saw another article in TimeOut about these guys. I'll definitely check them out.

I'll never understand how people who frequent music websites get so ticked off when they are exposed to music that they're unfamiliar with. it's serious lollerskates to me.

loseruser Thu 11/1/2007 01:22PM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

thanks, i saw another article in TimeOut about these guys. I'll definitely check them out.

I'll never understand how people who frequent music websites get so ticked off when they are exposed to music that they're unfamiliar with. it's serious lollerskates to me.