Reviewed by Jack Richter
The Tunes and Tones/Apple
The Tunes and Tones have a sense of humor. They must. On the cover of Apple, the band is lying on the ground, staring intently at the record’s namesake. This is the first image a potential fan is greeted with, and perhaps in a case of irony, it suffers from a lack of tone depth. Graphic design notwithstanding, the Tunes and Tones do express a gamut of color in the music. It’s just unfortunate that so many people are content basing their opinion on packaging.
Dressing their music with college-rock stylings a la the Strokes, the Tunes and Tones still manage to incorporate classic-rock influences. The songs come in many different flavors, often creating an eclectic but confident sound. “Crazy Lady Yates,” for example, is delivered in a free-flowing manner reminiscent of Bob Dylan, whereas “Grease” is more redolent of the contemporary act Cake. Who said you can’t have your Cake and eat it, too? Lyrically, the band is unrestrained. Opening to applause, “Love Labels” tells a story of musicians unhindered by critics. “They said we were all folky/and that’s all we’d bring/I guess they’ll never grab our sound.” Regrettably, this is indicative of what the music industry has become. Unsurprisingly, though, the Tunes and Tones have the last say on the closing track, “Clubs are not as packed as back in the day/And all the record labels eat shit/I guess the music has lost its way.”