Tuning - Hanging Thread (Cover Artwork)


Hanging Thread (2019)

Unity worldwide/cointoss

Tuning is a new band from California’s East Bay featuring members of one of the area’s best hardcore bands, Discourage. However, their roots reach as far east as Buffalo, with former members of Dead Hearts. Tuning, on their debut full-length Hanging Thread, offer up nine tracks of melodic hardcore punk that is at once an homage to the Bay Area scene they call home and a well-written debut from seasoned musicians.

The LP opens with the two songs from the band’s 2018 demo, giving the listener a good measuring stick of the overall sound that the record offers. The second and title track, “Hanging Thread,” showcases Tuning’s ability to incorporate choruses with the guitar octave method that Ignite was so adept at executing. Similarly, the vocals here balance a singing shout with trailing growls, giving the song a sense of aggression without becoming too dissonant.

What makes the LP most interesting, however, are the atmospheric tracks sprinkled among the more traditionally structured songs. Here, Tuning manages to add a depth to the record that gives it a wider breadth of musicianship and sonic movement. “Hospice Care,” for example, is vocals and guitar only. But it still exudes a sense of dynamism and pain, particularly in the lyrical content. While the song “Hawkeye Pierce” has full instrumental accompaniment, it too rings with an atmospheric mood driven by mid-tempo rhythms and drawling vocals.

Hanging Thread’s strongest track, at least of the unreleased songs, is “The Human Condition.” The guitar work is distinctly reminiscent of the hardcore punk sound culminated in the early millennium by Kill Your Idols and Kid Dynamite. That up-tempo melody helps to drive the vocals into speedier and more aggressive territory. The octave guitars pounding bass line, and tom-driven drums serve to bring the song together with the perfect balance of melody and discord.

Hanging Thread is a great debut from Tuning. The band’s collective pedigree suggests that they would write a strong LP, but Hanging Thread exceeds that expectation in an ingenuitive way. While they give the listener a cohesive batch of well-written melodic hardcore, they also give the listener ambient songs that might offer a sense of where the band can grow (if they so choose).