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CD REVIEW: Tunnnelvision - Tunnelvision
By Alex Jasperse - 01/05/2007 - 05:35 PM EST

Artist: Band: Tunnnelvision
Album: Tunnelvision EP [2006]
Label: Independent
Website: http://www.tunnelvisionband.ca
Genre: Post-Grunge, Alternative Rock
Production/Musicianship Grade: 7/10
Songwriting Skills: 6.5/10
Performance Skill: 6.5/10
CD Review:

Booming with heavy power chords and woozy riffing, Ottawa-based trio, Tunnelvision, offers up a high octane, guitar-driven debut. With a foot in each of the experimental sides of post grunge and alternative rock, their moody 4-track release reveals tunes that are tepid and blustery rewrites of the recent post grunge past.

Positioned somewhere between radio-ready post grunge and more aggressive alternative metal, their gravelly guitars and plodding bass and drum lines clash with lead singer Alex Treen’s melodramatic moans. Tracks such as Down revel in these clichés, and although they are dynamically strong, their predictable sounds don’t do much to separate them from many of the other alt-rock groups that have arisen and withered away over the last few years.

With each song sounding almost like the one preceding it, the differences that separate each one becomes increasingly blurred. Perhaps the shallow sound quality (making many of the tracks sound muffled) is a disservice to the talent that is apparent within the group. Especially when you consider that the quality of the songwriting is on par with – if not superior to – many of their counterparts out there. But the album’s lack of instrumental originality and variety in the songwriting process is what sinks the vast majority of the tracks.

The band’s attempt at an original sonic ‘feel’ has created a sound that seems too calculated and self-consciously cobbled together to feel natural and ‘original’. Treen’s painfully uninspired mess of overcompensating vocals in Hindsight, are mixed with guitar lines that thinly disguise familiar rock sounds. Their good, no nonsense guitar riffs are tight and have some credibility of their own, but in the large scheme of things, this solid performance does little to help Tunnelvision carve their own (distinctive) musical identity.

Tunnelvision’s debut release is a flat mix that’s lost in depression and monochromatic moans. It’s an energetic, riff-laden high-production number, but the group might as well be the next Taproot or Hoobastank, at best. Whatever the case may be, it likely won't win over many, as their adherence to alt-rock conventions is what will drag their debut, Down.




The Verdict:
6.6/10

For more information, please contact Tunnelvision at tunnelmusic@gmail.com





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