Bridge and Tunnel - East/West (Cover Artwork)

Bridge and Tunnel

Bridge and Tunnel: East/WestEast/West (2008)
No Idea Records

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:

Contributed by: DarrenMcLeodDarrenMcLeod
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The biggest fault I could find with Bridge and Tunnel's debut 7" last year was that it simply wasn't long enough. And now that the band has completed a full-length album, they've not only managed to improve in almost every aspect since their 7", but they have also put forward one of the most excitin.
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The biggest fault I could find with Bridge and Tunnel's debut 7" last year was that it simply wasn't long enough. And now that the band has completed a full-length album, they've not only managed to improve in almost every aspect since their 7", but they have also put forward one of the most exciting and interesting records you'll hear this year. While the band hasn't fully shed comparisons to acts like Fugazi or Small Brown Bike, their sound is certainly developing into something entirely their own, mixing their aggressive tendencies with more subdued moments of American Football-esque instrumentation.

The disc opens on a high note with "Wartime Souvenirs," arguably the album's hardest hitting track. There is an undeniable sense of outrage in vocalist Jeff Cunningham's voice as he attacks how lazy and indifferent society has become, as we're now "pacified by bullshit like TV shows on DVD." While I could point out any number of their clever critiques of social or political apathy, the true brilliance of the disc's lyrics comes from the members' self-assessments. The band never comes off as having a superiority complex, as they admit their own imperfections while striving to get the listener to correct theirs as well. An example occurs on the great track "Rubrics," where Cunningham sings "Scribble my head with horns, a bad suit, and a face that looks worn. I don't blame you. Sometimes I see myself that way too."

The band makes excellent use of the three voices they have, with bassist Tia Meilinger and Rachel Rubino coming in with great frequency and urgency. This is particularly noticeable on tracks like "Dear Sir:" or "Night Owls," where the female vocals take the forefront. It certainly helps that each member can not only hold their own at the microphone, and also play off each other with startling chemistry. The intensity of the disc only lets up for a few minutes as the instrumental track "The World Series" gives the listener a moment to absorb what they've already heard, before rushing into the last three tracks of the disc. The closing number, "As Close as I Can," is particularly notable: a swirling track that is as optimistic as it is honest, and a beautiful way to close out the disc.

East/West is intelligent without being arrogant and emotional without ever being repetitive. It's a complex disc that manages to shine regardless of the tempo its keeping and retain a listener's interest throughout its 40 minutes -- no easy feat for a debut full-length.


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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.
boobthemusicindustry (October 6, 2010)

I still love this album so much

Chartreuse (October 3, 2008)

I pre-ordered this on vinyl a month ago and it still hasn't come yet.
Everyday I think it's going to arrive and everyday I almost die of disappointment.

ramo (September 29, 2008)

One of my favorite records of 2008. The album is such a pleasure to listen to and after hearing you know it'll come off great live.


dirtydacoitdan (September 29, 2008)

Really solid debut LP!!!

icapped2pac (September 29, 2008)

"As Close As I Can" is fucking epic and a great set-closer, as they demonstrated Friday night. That song is a 5-star masterpiece. And the rest of the album is good, too. Do yourself a huge favor and catch them live.

nightowl (September 28, 2008)

track 3 destroys.

thestatewillwitheraway (September 28, 2008)

great great great

mike_killroad (September 28, 2008)

Pretty good album. I'm giving it 8 stars with only listening to the first 5 tracks.I think the intensity of this band reminds me of Latterman, just darker. I don't know if it's because they have the drummer from Latterman, but it's a good thing in my book either way.

I usually hate female vocalists, but the women on this album know how to kick ass and I find that very important considering all I ever hear about bands with girls is how hot the members are and this band is different, clearly all talented member wise.

The lyrics to these songs are epic and I can't wait till they come back around to Athens so I can sing along.

14theroad (September 28, 2008)

This is definitely my second favorite album of the year so far.

ven89 (September 28, 2008)

Holy shit, this destroys the ep. Track 3 though, don't know what's going on with that one, not good. Really captures how fucking great they are live though, it's about time.

red_eye_inc (September 27, 2008)

I'm going to see this band in 45 minutes. Chicago rules. Score is for byob loft shows.

kidentropy (September 27, 2008)

Yeah, same thing here. I preordered my copy at Berea Fest where they had a signup sheet for people wanting to buy the new record.

Regardless, Bridge and Tunnel are one of the best live bands I've ever seen and this record captures it nigh-perfectly.

scientistrock (September 27, 2008)

I still haven't received mine, and I'm wicked pissed.

Johnny_J (September 27, 2008)

This record is great, from start to finish. Maybe my album of the year... so far it's come down to either East/West or '59 Sound.

spoon_of_grimbo (September 27, 2008)

awesome album. no idea's been releasing a huge amount of amazing albums recently - i mean, they've always been a great label even at the worst of times, but i feel the last year or so has seen some of their best releases.

oh, i reviewed this record too:


bigwig1022 (September 27, 2008)

very eh....
at least the new o pioneers!!! rekid is everything i hoped for in a three piece o pioneers!!! record

capitalist_pig (September 27, 2008)

I'm just starting to listen to this, but I'm getting a Jena Berlin vibe from some of the songs. That's a good thing.

120dB (September 27, 2008)

It could be better, but eh, what the hell. It's great.

mikexdude (September 27, 2008)

What a great record... but I can't seem to find anything bad with any band that sounds like Small Brown Bike, Fugazi or American Football.

inagreendase (September 27, 2008)

Pretty spot-on review and pretty much the best thing No Idea's put their name on since Reinventing Axl Rose. At the very least, the label's best debut full-length since.

Seriously such a passionate and intelligent album. I think five-seven of these songs are mind-blowing and the other four-six are pretty good and that unevenness is the only thing really keeping it back a bit.

The best is that it translates live just about perfectly. I'm really excited to see what this band could possibly do next after putting together a really good 7" and then just blowing it away.

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