Jul 22, 2010

The Tunnelrunners. Plastic Land.

Formed in 1977 and broken up by 1981 (to return to college like so many others before and since—damn you, higher education.), The Tunnelrunners barely played any gigs (most people stumbled into their shows by accident), and sold about twenty records (the last one to show up on ebay went for something like £700). Thankfully, someone found a copy and reissued five of their raw, hang-on-tight masterpieces.

Plastic Land, especially, features some fantasticly joyous guitar lines soaring through the lo-fi fuzz and rhythmic thrash. Bright and sharp and melodic, it makes me think of the sound you'd get if you played the evolution of C-86 in reverse and steered a course that took the attitude and songcraft but not the cuteness into early punk. It's rather Buzzcocks-y now that I listen to it again (especially Words, which must have been written with that band in mind). I Can, You Can, Fall In Love has that sweet-tart punk buzz with just a dash of the Beatles to throw you off the scent. They were more DIY than punk anyway (the lead singer had decidedly unpunk long, shaggy hair and a mustache, although this was the glorious period before punk came with quotation marks around it), but far more talented than most of that scene. Every one of these few songs is just perfect and makes me wish they'd stuck around longer and recorded more.

What a rush. I fall in love with it even more every time I spin it. Copies should still be available from Sing Sing records. Only six bucks!

Plastic Land

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