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Tsunami Bomb - The Definitive Act (Cover Artwork)

Tsunami Bomb

Tsunami Bomb: The Definitive ActThe Definitive Act (2004)
Kung Fu Records

Reviewer Rating: 4.5
User Rating:


Contributed by: maverickScott
(others by this writer | submit your own)

I'm going to be honest: I was never a huge fan of Tsunami Bomb. I liked the band as people and supported them as a musical venture mainly because they were so passionate and heartfelt about their music. Hearing all sorts of crazy stories about the band's near-breakup during the recording of The Ulti.
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I'm going to be honest: I was never a huge fan of Tsunami Bomb. I liked the band as people and supported them as a musical venture mainly because they were so passionate and heartfelt about their music. Hearing all sorts of crazy stories about the band's near-breakup during the recording of The Ultimate Escape then suffering the scorn and abandonment of many diehard fans simply because of a member shift only made me feel more for the band's plight, although they still didn't find their way inside their stereo very often. Frankly, the songs were just a bit too one-sided and predictable for me.

But then The Definitive Act is recorded, and in a split second I've gone from casual fan of the group to championing them from every rooftop imaginable. Why? Simply put, this album is fantastic. You don't hear punk rock records this good very often anymore.

The Definitive Act is eerie in its lyrical foreshadowing - "4 Robots And An Evil Scientist," written about their previous recording experience, could easily be directed towards their record label for withholding the record due to not hearing a "hit." The tumultuous album closer, "Jigsaw," ends with over two minutes of the band musically collapsing in on themselves, through pounding drums and slicing guitar squeals. You can almost hear the desperation in the band's sound, which is creepy because at the time of recording, nothing truly bad had happened regarding the label.

Frontwoman Agent M's lyrics do nothing to hurt the album's dark vibe, either; she's obviously spent a few hundred hours studying Skibology 101; "Dawn On A Funeral Day" is about being buried alive (emotionally as well as physically), and numerous references to death and violence crop up throughout the disc's brief 36-minute playing time (unfortunately, lines about drinking are pretty much nonexistant -- we'll have to wait until M signs up for Advanced Trionomics for that one). But even stranger still is how this band can absolutely rip through songs rife with negative energy, yet still contribute "Negative One To Ten," the happiest song about how great music is that Andrew WK never wrote. This dichotomy only furthers Tsunami Bomb's fragmented band vision; are they punk or pop; hardcore or indie; sing-along or sit-and-mope? The band lays out convincing arguments for all of the above with The Definitive Act, making one of the most elaborate punk albums this year.

The only true frustration about the album is just how mishandled it was by their label, who forced the disc to be remixed -- by two different producers. As such, seven of the album's 12 tracks were remixed by Greg Koller, and sound phenomenonal (for those keeping track, the songs in question are 1-4, 7, 8 and 12). These songs literally leap out of your stereo; it's nearly impossible to listen to "Being Alright" or the gang-vocal-heavy "Safety Song" without getting physically excited. Conversely, the remaining five tracks remixed by Sergio Chavez sound awful. Chavez takes incredibly powerful songs such as "I Bought You" and sucks all the life out of them with the aural equivelent of nu-metal posturing. As such, the album flip-flops back and forth, making for an ultimately frustrating and fragmented listen. But, considering Tsunami Bomb's history, fragmentation doesn't seem all that wrong.

So basically, with The Definitive Act, you have a band who has gone through the ringer and then some over the past two years, all the while trying to keep their chins up and their heads above water when everything else seemed to be going wrong. As such, you have four musicians who have all improved tremendously at their craft individually, from M's earth-shattering yells ("5150" and "4 Robots And An Evil Scientist") to Mike Griffen's buzzsaw guitar licks and gut-wrenching backing screams to the whole band's incredible sense of melody and balladry on "A Lonely Chord." In short, this record is something I don't think anyone expected from this NorCal quartet, but here's to hoping they can keep it going until record number three. As it stands, we definitely have a winner on our hands.

MP3s
Dawn On A Funeral Day
Being Alright
My Machete

Safety Song [clip]

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
victim (March 23, 2008)

I'm not sure I like all of this but Dawn On A Funeral Day is a killer opener followed by the next three songs for sure. My only complaint is they should've done more songs that sound like 4 Robots And An Evil Scientist. If they had they'd be my favorite band for the month :)

warningdevice (December 13, 2005)

WERD!
skibology 101... fuckin a!
i love people giving props to skiba, the guy is a god. and yeah, this record is pretty rad, i think the band could have made at least one more record before they decided to quit. but this will do i guess. oh yeah... agent m... whats up?

Anonymous (December 24, 2004)

I think this album is great and shows the band's maturity and evolution. Only let down by the mentioned poor remixing by Sergio (accidental or not, wouldn't you check it b4 publishing it?)

I liked The Ultimate Escape as well as The Invasion From Within and found the sound a refreshing gold find! They are one of my favourite bands at the moment. Only disappointed that I missed then when they were playing in Scotland with the Bouncing Souls.

Cheers
Andy MacRae

Anonymous (October 22, 2004)

Awesome. 20 stars

Anonymous (October 6, 2004)

i agree with the origional reviewer...i think the album is awesome...however those tracks that sergio mixed....well the songs are awesome...but the way he mixed them i want to rip off his wang and slap that kid in the face who said that they support love=death...hey fag...good charlotte had a new album come out...why don't you go wack off all over it and then go enjoy a love=death concert...that is the worst band on the planet...i would rather buy an Alter Bridge album than a love=death...have fun simpe plan fan...jerk

Anonymous (September 27, 2004)

someones a bit of a loser then i see

Anonymous (September 26, 2004)

"i've seen them everytime they have come to my town and loved every moment, but honestly i think this cd lacks a pop hook and kurt coban even knew that and did that. i think that m is mean and i think the song 4 robots and an evil scientist is about dom and if i'm correct they they suck so bad because he was my favorite member. im supporting love = death dom's new band. i wish i could get my money back, this cd sucks dong and dueches only listen to it."

I don't know you, but really, I hate you.

Anonymous (September 26, 2004)

No, I didn't hear anyone say that to be honest. I heard someone cough but that was about it

Anonymous (September 26, 2004)

Did someone say "sinking ship?"

Anonymous (September 26, 2004)

Unlucky mate because there was another comment before that one, it is referenced by the "too", as in someone suggested the idea and that person seconded it

Anonymous (September 26, 2004)

What are you all talking about? The "id do her anal" is still there. So your all wrong in it getting deleted BAM! Bitch got faced!

SOYBOMB (September 25, 2004)

I noticed that as well.

Interesting. Tasteless, but interesting that they'd delete that comment.

Someone go into the Green Day review now and say they'd do those guys anal. Let's see if it gets pulled.

Peace,
-SOYBOMB-

Anonymous (September 25, 2004)

Censorship in 'punk'!?!?...Surely not

Anonymous (September 25, 2004)

to the comment below: probably because punknews is afraid of free speech, they dont want people speaking their minds now do they

Anonymous (September 25, 2004)

haha, the "I'd do her anal" comment was removed!

501 (September 24, 2004)

quote of the year.
|
V

Anonymous (September 24, 2004)

This is a great album. Through out the band's life of there up and down's, they still can provide good music and a great cd. Good job M! I would do her anal too...

YellowcardSucks (September 24, 2004)

You've got to be joking.

This disc is mediocre at best.

Anonymous (September 24, 2004)

Scott has to like this album. If he didn't, AltPress would fire him.

Anonymous (September 24, 2004)

I am a little dissapointed-oldpunker-

Anonymous (September 24, 2004)

i can definately hear the production difference... i know Sergio and he claims during remastering by Greg that his EQ levels were lost because there's no way in hell he'd put his name on something that sounds that far off. A side story could be Greg was pissed 2 people were remixing the album (which either way you look at it sounds way better than what they would have released in July) so he may have lost them on purpose somehow.. but then he'd be fucking the band also so who knows. hopefully the real remixes before remastering will get out somehow.

Anonymous (September 24, 2004)

cant stop listening to this album.

bemused (September 23, 2004)

Scott,

Tsunami Bomb told me your cheque is in the mail
(haha, only joking, but seriously!)

-Chris

Haggard (September 23, 2004)

I was tricked! All of you said this album was awesome and I put it in my CD player ready to have my ass kicked. But I can't even listen to this thing all the way through. Definitely not worth your money.

-Justin

maverick (September 23, 2004)

"i think the song 4 robots and an evil scientist is about dom"

You'd be thinking incorrectly. Pick up the new issue of AP, Agent M says it's about the recording of their last album in their feature.

-Scott

Anonymous (September 23, 2004)

To be honest I loved the Invasion from WIthin, and liked The Ultimate Escape, this doesn't hold my interest. Probably because they stopped holding my interest live a while ago. I saw Strike Anywhere open for them, and it showed how flat TB were.

Anonymous (September 23, 2004)

I agree with the reviewer about the production problems. After "Safety Song," "I Bought You" just sounds harsh and tinny and lifeless.

Inconsistent audio quality aside, I'm loving this album. It's sounds less glossy and pop-ish than The Ultimate Escape, which is a good thing, in my opinion.

Anonymous (September 23, 2004)

i've seen them everytime they have come to my town and loved every moment, but honestly i think this cd lacks a pop hook and kurt coban even knew that and did that. i think that m is mean and i think the song 4 robots and an evil scientist is about dom and if i'm correct they they suck so bad because he was my favorite member. im supporting love = death dom's new band. i wish i could get my money back, this cd sucks dong and dueches only listen to it.

Imposs1ble (September 23, 2004)

It's not terrible, but I can't imagine sitting through the whole album. I think 4.5 stars is a little much, but that's just one guy's opinion.

Anonymous (September 22, 2004)

-Dom

Anonymous (September 22, 2004)

:If you've ever heard The Invasion From Within, you know as well as I do that this cd is shit. I'm goin with Dom's new band Love Equals Death, they actually sound more like TB than TB."

so TB should not change and sound exactly like they used to? interesting theory.

Anonymous (September 22, 2004)

"If you've ever heard The Invasion From Within, you know as well as I do that this cd is shit. I'm goin with Dom's new band Love Equals Death, they actually sound more like TB than TB"

HAHA. Thanks Dom.

Anonymous (September 22, 2004)

Kung Fu probably doesn't care if their albums are catchy. It's not like you hear their albums on the radio or MTV.

They probably thought the album was just terrible, and it is.

Anonymous (September 22, 2004)

actually i have heard the invasion from within. i own it. the band has matured incredibly since then. if you think the lyrics to lemonade are better than dawn on a funeral day you an aboslute fucking moron and there is no hope for you. this album is great.

Anonymous (September 22, 2004)

Great new CD from Tsunami Bomb. Some of the songs are extremely addicting. If the record label doesn't think it's "catchy" enough, they should put The Lonely Cord and Being Alright out there and see what happens.

Anonymous (September 22, 2004)

If you've ever heard The Invasion From Within, you know as well as I do that this cd is shit. I'm goin with Dom's new band Love Equals Death, they actually sound more like TB than TB.

Anonymous (September 22, 2004)

WOOOOOOOOO HAAAAA ive been waiting so long!!!

Anonymous (September 22, 2004)

great album...would love to see this band blow up huge.

Anonymous (September 22, 2004)

"""Scott,

since you're a "journalist," why don't you interview Joe Escalante and get his side of the story. Nobody seems to know it. He might not tell you everything, but at least you can say you tried.

I think Tsunami Bomb would be happier on a label like Fat or Epitaph. But then again, I think Kung Fu would be even happier to see TB go elsewhere. I've heard the band is a nightmare to deal with, and their "managers" are even worse.

Score is for the album. It sucks."""

--
Mr. Escalante, what are you doing on a kid's message board?
Go back to milking cows.

Anonymous (September 22, 2004)

Joe can't hold onto those Ataris and Blink 182 rights forever. So he should soak up as much money from those whle he can. I heard the last TB album sold twice as many as that last shitty Vandals album. And with the positive reviews this one is getting, Joe is probably shitting himself in disbelief.

Anonymous (September 22, 2004)

doesn't this singer sing for coheed and cambria?

sickboi (September 22, 2004)

Current roster duder.

Anonymous (September 22, 2004)

I think the Ataris would probably bring in half as much as Tsunami Bomb does.

sickboi (September 22, 2004)

I think Tsunami Bomb would be happier on a label like Fat or Epitaph. But then again, I think Kung Fu would be even happier to see TB go elsewhere. I've heard the band is a nightmare to deal with, and their "managers" are even worse."

You think they want to loose their cash cow? Name me 2 other Kung Fu bands that bring in 1/2 the cash TB does....I can't either.

CrankWillDestroy (September 22, 2004)

Agent Mmmmmmmmmmmmm.

sorry, had to say it.

Anonymous (September 22, 2004)

Scott,

since you're a "journalist," why don't you interview Joe Escalante and get his side of the story. Nobody seems to know it. He might not tell you everything, but at least you can say you tried.

I think Tsunami Bomb would be happier on a label like Fat or Epitaph. But then again, I think Kung Fu would be even happier to see TB go elsewhere. I've heard the band is a nightmare to deal with, and their "managers" are even worse.

Score is for the album. It sucks.

Anonymous (September 22, 2004)

Awesome album! The songs have a much richer, more mature sound than previous stuff. My favorites are Being Alright, Lonely Cord, Epic, and Jigsaw.

jamespastepunk (September 22, 2004)

I thought something was up with Dawn on a Funeral Day when the song just murdered live and the recorded version sounded awful. Good points, Scott.

Here's to hoping they go to Fat or Epitaph for their next CD. What's important is that this one came out at all.

Anonymous (September 22, 2004)

I must say.... Agent M definitely writes her own lyrics. She is a member of a very talented family. Check out Velvet Teen's former drummer, and now soloist, Logan Whitehurst (and his Junior Science Club).

Anonymous (September 22, 2004)

Yeah, I kinda figured it out that Agent M's name was E. Whitehurst--it was also mentioned on Tsunami Bomb's other CD "Invasion from Within."

Well, I better bum some Arnold cigars off John Burton--if they're still any good! I mean you can't keep cigars fresh if you carry them around in bulk in your sweaty pants pockets all damn day now can you?!

Bob Mulhulland

Anonymous (September 22, 2004)

Didn't I tell all y'all that the latest TB CD rips!

http://www.punknews.org/article.php?sid=10252&mode=thread&ord er=0&thold=0

I really genuinely think this CD will take Tsunami Bomb to the next level musically...

I haven't stopped listening to it since I got it over a week ago...

And I think Kevin Shelley will survive his corruption shitfest--I mean, c'mon, Chuck Quackenbush made out alright--hey he's living in exile in Hawaii, that's gotta be cool... John Rowland and George Ryan ain't got nothin' on Kevin Shelley!!!

Gray Davis

P.S. I'll be hitting the campaign trail for John Kerry for the next few days--after all I was a Vietnam veteran.

I'll probably be speaking out in swing state Nevada--God only knows how many jobs I created there as California governor...

Anyway, I'm gonna let my good buddy Democratic strategist Bob Mulhulland take over for the next several days. He's mean, he's voracious, but he really cares about the kids.

Peace out.

Anonymous (September 22, 2004)

Agent M's real name is E. Whitehurst.
Joe didn't like the album. Dont put it on everyone at KF.
They had no control over the re-mixing. They chose Mike Poorman to produce, they worked good together.

Anonymous (September 22, 2004)

This album is amazing... simply put.

to clear things up, agent m writes her own lyrics and prides herself on them very much, as she should. no one should try to take any credit from her for them, especially if all they're basing it on is the fact that the insert doesn't simply say "lyrics by: agent m"... she DOES have a name, you know. All of the previous albums have given credit to "E. Whitehurst" for the lyrics, as well.

I do agree that some of the mixing is pretty bad. If anyone heard mike poorman's mixes, I think they'd agree.

and to the questions:
1. no
2. yes
3. They had control over who the producer was, but no control over the final mix.

Anonymous (September 22, 2004)

This ain't no Blondie!!!

Anonymous (September 22, 2004)

I bought this CD today. I didnt like it the first time through!! But by the second time I loved it. I think I was too busy comparing it to their older stuff.

AND EVERYONE...
They do write their own songs. M writes the lyrics..Where do you get the ideas that she doesnt??

Anonymous (September 22, 2004)

I bought this last night at midnight, along with the new hwm, great album, put it paled in comparison to hwm, I should've played this first!

Anonymous (September 22, 2004)

yah whats up with the lyrics? why the fuck can't they write their own, and who is the person who writes them

Anonymous (September 22, 2004)

about the lyrics thing...just look in the notes....sniff u jerks later

Anonymous (September 22, 2004)

Could someone please clear up all the rumors surrounding this release?

1. Did someone else write the songs?
2. Is it true that Kung Fu held off the album because they didn't like it?
3. The band had no control over the producers and/or the final mix?

Anonymous (September 22, 2004)

Skibology 101? What about AP Damned Composition 2?

-BSD

Anonymous (September 21, 2004)

Awesome review Scott. Couldn't agree more

joeg (September 21, 2004)

i haven't listened to the entire record yet but the songs i did hear were pretty good. i'll pick it up tomorrow.

jamespastepunk (September 21, 2004)

*shrugs* I'll take all these anon posters with a grain of salt.

Anonymous (September 21, 2004)

the one super downside to this band is that they dont write the lyrics

TheNightProwler (September 21, 2004)

Damn, reading this review made me wish I bought this album at the store today instead of ordering it from interpunk, from what I just checked, won't ship this album out until tomorrow which means I won't get it till Saturday... damnit!

That and I think that Kung-Fu dropped the ball with this by delaying the release. It'd be awesome to see Tsunami Bomb either end up on Epitaph records or even better, Fat Wreck. If I was Mr. Brett or Fat Mike I'd be trying to get this band signed.

Anonymous (September 21, 2004)

I can't believe Scott, of all people, gave this a nine! What kind of crack are you on?!?!

Anonymous (September 21, 2004)

I work for AP and I think I speak for everyone when I say, "FUCK FAT." Joe is a fucking moron incapable of running a label for shit. Every, and I mean EVERY band on that label wants him dead.

maverick (September 21, 2004)

I'm not talking shit about Kung Fu, I'm simply stating what is rather common knowledge to those behind-the-scenes. Joe didn't like the Tsunami Bomb record, he told the band it wasn't catchy enough. The band has even said this in interviews.

-Scott

Anonymous (September 21, 2004)

Scott,

if you're gonna talk shit about Kung Fu, make sure you know what you're talking about first. You work for AP now...be careful not to burn any bridges. You've barely been there long enough to even cross any.

FortyMinutesWest (September 21, 2004)

I almost picked this up today, but I grabbed the new Fordirelifesake instead. Man, what a disappointment that was.

TrailerParkJesus (September 21, 2004)

Pretty good live show. the songs I heard from this weren't bad.

Anonymous (September 21, 2004)

scott, i'm not the hugest fan of your reviews, but here's to the skibology 101 and advanced trionomics remarks. very clever.

jamespastepunk (September 21, 2004)

That's the question, isn't it?

Anonymous (September 21, 2004)

Pardon me: why did Kung Fu screw them over?

Anonymous (September 21, 2004)

I really like this band, but haven't really been paying attention. Why did Nitro screw them over?

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