Tsunami Bomb - Trust No One (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Tsunami Bomb

Trust No One (2016)

Kung Fu Records

The most striking aspect of Tsunami Bomb’s early EP collection, Trust No One is the sheer recklessness of the release. Sure, it’s rooted in pop-punk- though that term isn’t meant to be reductive. If anything, on the compilation the band is more punk-pop than the flipside, taking the standard rock and roller formula and pushing it into weirder and wackier shapes rather than taking a nasty genre and making it nice. But, as the compilation rips through a series of EPs and single releases, Tsunami Bomb seems to have a reckless abandon as to what they are supposed to be, which, ironically, is what forms their identity.

Opening track, the 1999 cut of “Lemonade” creates a rough idea of the band’s idea. Guitarist Brian Plink and bassist Dominic Davi work on economy, playing simple, hooky lines that seem written specifically to counterbalance vocalist Agent M. As Plink and Davi strike away, Agent M quite cleverly plays against the rhythm, spitting out a spiteful and jaded tune, which also, plays against the song’s sunny nature.

Already, the band is playing against the stereotypical “pop-punk” nature. The band specifically seems to be making the song as muscular as possible while still being pop and as vicious as possible while still being relatively radio friendly. But then, as the band establishes themselves, they decide to go wherever their muse guides them.

“Irish Boys,” which features keyboardist Oobliette doing a first wave SF punk vocal take, finds the band opening with a Thin Lizzy-meets-Pogues intro before they suddenly rip into a Maiden style charge before tumbling into an almost hardcore blast. Meanwhile, Oobliette rides the rhythm in stride, exemplifying why this band pulls off these diversions so well: confidence and a lack of experience.

It’s this constant changeup which keeps the disc so invigorating. “3 Days & 1000 nights” has a sort of Misfits-new wave bounce and “No Good Very Bad Day” is a raw rocker that is more concerned with momentum than second guessing itself.

In their future releases, Tsunami Bomb would perhaps coalesce to a more singular sound. But the formative years collected here showcases some of their most daring, and best, work. There’s something to be said for a creative unit’s initial spark, when hey are completely unhampered by audience expectation- and even their own planning- and this release makes that clear.