A horrible hack

Bridge and Tunnel

East / West

Year Released: 2008
Format: CD
Label: No Idea Records
Reviewed by Andy Malcolm on Oct 1, 2008
I had high hopes for this album, but it's not quite worked out. "East / West" is a very hit and miss affair, that starts off well, but seriously fades by the middle into samey-ness and misjudged songs. Things roll out the gate emphatically with "Wartime Souvenirs", all punchy guitars and great vocals. The male singer is like a cross between the guy from Policy of 3 and Chris Broach when he was in Braid, which I enjoyed. The music itself, at it's best, is like Small Brown Bike with the poppy bits of Braid thrown in, and it works really well. When they carry it off, which seems to be the first few tracks. Unfortunately, the album fails to carry the whole 40 minutes, and there are some particularly iffy moments, such as "Night Owls" with it's careless rhythms and annoying twiddliness, sounding like some of the more turgid output on Dischord from the past 10 years. It's a real shame, because when Bridge and Tunnel nails it, they do some good stuff.

For me, this is a record made by a band not ready to make an LP. A 10", sure, but otherwise it's not quite there. I think they're at their best when belting out the catchy post-hardcore stuff of yore, and there are plenty of good songs in this vein on the LP, such as stand out track "Call to the Comptroller's Office". Unfortunately things get bogged down - the riffage is often tired and repetetive, they indulge in too much guitar twiddling, and there are even some rather out of place post rock guitar effects. A band like this needs a lot more bouncy melody to make an impression on me. Shame, maybe they'll nail it by the next record.

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