Tongues - "Tongues" (CD)
"Tongues" track listing:
1. Cool Air
2. The Sag
3. Bukowski Dating Service
4. The Smartest Man (In The World)
5. The Creamer
7. Boris Karloff
8. Meathooks & Chopping Blocks
10. Canine Teeth
11. Scatalogically Speaking
12. Amazing Grays
Reviewed by EdgeoftheWorld on November 4, 2010
Tongues' self-titled 2008 album is a DIY debut that shows the band still has a few issues to lick before it's ready for the big time. Punk rock demands a certain amount of rawness, but this badly produced disc, in which the vocals are more often than not covered up by a wall of distorted guitar noise and snare drums, is just plain poorly produced.
I have no doubt that the band puts on a rollicking stage show — and I'll bet that it sounds much better than this "studio" album. It's a shame, too, because on songs like "The Sag," the band shows off some songwriting and playing ability that is otherwise covered up by the poor production.
Guitarists Sean Shipley and Frank Gilbert are at their best in "The Sag," "Bukowski Dating Service" and "Amazing Grays," but the lack of a low end on the recordings makes the treble-filled guitars almost painful to listen to in parts. Adding to the problem is that tunes like "Canine Teeth" and "Scatalogically Speaking" (which has an interesting contribution from bassist Erik Bocek), often seem to suffer from a case of arrhythmia, with singer Todd Pot seeming to be performing a different song from the rest of the band.
Ironically, the times you're likely to hear Todd Pot sing are the ones in which he's singing in a quiet, near-falsetto on songs like the opener, "Cool Air," which has an interesting opening that, unfortunately, gives way to the guitar overload I talked about above.
Tongues' self-titled debut is a poorly produced affair, with horrible sound that manages to nearly cover up whatever strengths the band has in the songwriting and playing departments. Only the most serious punk rock fans — or those who've seen this Chicago-era band live and enjoyed the show — are going to want to pick this one up.
Highs: "The Sag," "Amazing Grays" and "Bukowski Dating Service"
Lows: Horrible sound quality makes this one painful to listen to.
Bottom line: Horrible production makes this punk rock disc pretty painful to listen to.
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