Throws are Mike Lindsay and Sam Genders (latterly of Diagrams), former colleagues in electro-folkers Tuung who released five LPs before taking a hiatus in 2013. The duo haven’t worked together since the band’s 2007’s Good Arrows, with this reunion precipitated by Genders’ visit to Iceland ((the country, not the frozen ‘more water than meat’ dispensary) the boys rekindling over copious Bennivins and herring-do with this offering the resultant fruits.
Kicking off with ‘The Harbour’ a glam-stomp-elegy backed by Bon Iverish (dis)harmonies, the isolationist wild winds of the island course through. The mantra-filled ‘High Pressure Front’ is a gospel-tinged rocker replete with the pair’s ‘Northern Falsetto’ in tandem, the natural elements and a sense of place figure prominently throughout the album (c.f. ‘Sun Gun’, ‘Under the Ice’).
Standout ‘Punch Drunk Sober’ is an electro-groovy Tuung-twister, all Krautrockish chug with echoes of Fujiya & Miyagi/Metronomy, albeit this is no carbon copy wannabee contender, this is a rope-a-dope knockout. Go 12 rounds with this pugilistic metaphor, no white towel necessary, on the ropes you’ll live in hope with this heavyweight knuckle-sandwich. Box clever because ‘you’re never gonna find another quite like (it)’.
‘Silence in between’ is a bucolic lament to a previous incarnation of self, is it an autobiographical apologia to each other, an assurance that any mistakes from the past will remain there? If so, consider bridges built, hatchets buried, comms re-established.
The spectral Pink Floydish ‘Sun Gun’ is a riddler with Lewis Carrollesque lyrics like ‘goodbye to walking anywhere, we won’t be needing our feet, goodbye to the sherbet people, you used to taste so sweet’ seemingly the by-product of those Scandi-shandies imbibed during the ‘midnight sun’ hours. Hic-hic-hooray!
The afrobeat ‘Learn Something’ has the aside ‘only a fool would believe life should easy, watching you walk away’ another lyrical olive branch to prodigal friendship renewal.
The closing ‘Under the Ice’ starts as a monologue that builds into a Grand National-like crash-endo, a fitting end to a wonderful album. Tuung-tied no more and clearly not stuck for ideas this ten-track throws the cat among the pigeons of estranged friendships, this end-product of reconciliation proof that absence certainly makes the art grow stronger