We review the new album from Tsunamiz – Looney Tunez
The opening track to Looney Tunez is immediately stomping out the gate with a marching beat. One that’s fuelled by various effects and a solid guitar tune that just bops along perfectly with the drum machine. With a happy go lucky mood that is purposely a little ‘off’ in it’s delivery, it gives an almost carnival like feel to itself that’s full of attitude.
What comes as a real surprise is how the track clocks in at over 8 minutes, so this big bombastic show tune, by way of alternative synth rock becomes this huge anthem that continually alters itself. Once the two-thirds mark hits though, things descend into true madness, with the song rising in tempo to a comically fast pace before turning into all out joyful chaos in it’s closing moments.
Sleepin’ With My Friendz continues the trend of Looney Tunez living up to it’s name. This time the complex drum, synth, and guitar much more laid back, but still captures a very off the wall kind of feeling that encapsulates the general theming of the album. It’s familiar in its execution, but brings a psychedelic, almost cartoony feel to everything on display. This more laid back track has some interesting moments, with intricate drum beats, a grandiose closing segment, and themes of free love littered throughout.
Magickal Seeds is the next track, and it carries a mischievous feeling to it from the start. The bass guitar is playful and seemingly acts as it’s own character within the track, just with the funky feel that’s coupled with an almost drum and bass styled chorus. As far as the ebb and flow goes, we bounce back and forth between the chorus and instrumental sections, with the former providing a dance track, and the latter providing this unusual guitar segments. The vocals marry these two together, slipping in here and there to provide just that little bit more context.
The shortest track on the album, Radio, passes by quick and shows that Looney Tunez is shooting for a distinct style throughout with its songs. There’s the obvious genre trappings of indie rock mixed with techno, but Tsunamiz is very clearly going for a distinct feel with the album as a whole. And that is where this genre mash up and overall stylings come into play.
Spiritual Boy is a very chilled out track, this time taking away the heavy drum beats in favour of more gentle ones that are enhanced by piano keys and an overall much gentler feel throughout. Whilst keeping the solid marching pace that’s permeated the album, it’s relatively slow when compared to the roadrunner speed we’ve been going at so far.
Looney Tune once again swaps up the formula. If Spiritual Boy was the album’s take on a lullaby, then Looney Tune is the take on a country track. With possibly the most minimal instrumental offering so far, with a fast pace acoustic guitar, bass guitar, and tapping drums. It’s very very minimal, and is a fantastic marriage of what feels like a cowboy movie with a techno edge. Later on moving into some more tribal territory, it’s a subtle reflection of everything the culture surrounding the Old West grabbed and made its own, and is handled in great fashion.
P.Q.P takes a sharp turn into very different territory. Setting the scene with a hauntingly beautiful looped whistle track, before being backed up by a bass boosted drum and vocals that are sung in a foreign language. It’s veers much more into trance with its repeating beats and surprisingly encapsulating tune.
This trend of using foreign language continue with Demente, another more gentle track that this time brings in violin to accent its melancholic vocals and guitar. Despite not knowing the language, there’s a clear pain within the vocals that can be empathised with easily. The delivery is saddening and perfectly sells the emotion. Coupled with the now familiar style of heavy beats accented by various guitar and synth aftereffects.
Outta Space is yet another breakneck turn into something entirely different. This time we’re treated to a very space rock dance track, one that drops the guitars entirely in favour of all out synth. It fits with the themes and title naturally, but succeeds in giving a wild ride of a track that’s a little abrasive at times. The abrasive points come with an uncomfortably high note in some places, and some slightly crude lyrics that may be taken different depending on who’s listening.
After a quick jaunt into sci fi synth, we’re brought back to earth with The Dancing Dead. This time it’s another more typical (at least by the albums standards) track. One filled with the same trappings as a lot of songs on the album before. The one change to differentiate itself is the altered vocals duetting with the standard vocals. There’s some great mix ups in the second half that give the track some staying power.
Sends and Returns is the second-to-last track of Looney Tunez, and it’s about as by-the-numbers as any second comes close to on the entire album. It feels very basic and phoned in when compared to near enough every other song on the album. It brings very little else that another track hasn’t already showcased. And when it’s coming close to the end of a near hour long album, it starts to feel as though it could have easily been cut to make the album have a smoother ride to the finish.
The Spotless Mind is a vast improvement on Sends and Returns, feeling much more natural and comfortable on the album. It also feels like a very comfortable and natural ending to the album. With a slow paced and chilled out vibe of guitars coasting us across the finish line nicely.
Looney Tunez as an album lives up to its name with no issue. It’s full of wild beats, some genre mash ups that should never work together but somehow manage to despite it all. Ones like country being married to trance, and it’s made to work. As a whole it feels like one big dance album that’s had its party crashed by a psych rock crowd. It’s wild, out there, and really pushes the envelope in terms of what genre blending can really do.