Tsunami Bomb - Dead Man's Party [7-inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Tsunami Bomb

Dead Man's Party [7-inch] (2021)

Kung Fu Records

Here’s a little something to hold you over until the next Tsunami Bomb album. While TB was born in the ‘90s, if you look at the band’s frequent use of soaring choruses clean production, and their bold use of keys/synths, a distinct ‘80s undercurrent has quietly rippled through their discography. On their new cover’s 7-inch, they boil that undercurrent to the top.

“Dead Man’s Party” is an interesting choice for an Oingo Boingo cover. The track is one of Danny Elfman’s better known tracks, but one might expect a punk band to go with one of the zanier earlier tracks (“Only a Lad” or “Nasty habits” perhaps?) That being said, Tsunami Bomb has always had a sort of fatalist intensity, so it is fitting that they pick one of the darker more “mature” Elfman tracks. Here, they give the song a driving speed but an almost Bauhaus coldness. Singer Kate Jacobi exhibits a sort of Peter Murphy tactical detachment while the band rips along behind here. It’s a cool spin in that, like the original, it puts a morbid concept with some fun music. But whereas the Oingo version had a very ‘80s carnival feel, here the band pulls an ‘80s goth/indie vibe, perhaps making the song a bit less anchored in time.

“Out of Touch” is technically Tsunami Bomb’s second Hall & Oates related work- bassist Dom Davi was previously on Punknews podcast #500 with Daryl Hall (I kid, I kid… sort of…) The take on this yacht rock classic is the more extreme of the two. While the original was a smooth number, cleverly contrasting a biting rebuke from Daryl Hall in the form of sensitive vocal deliver, here the band revs the tune up into a charging attack. I like it. Interestingly though, while the tune is now a high speed charger, it doesn’t feel like a pisstake- as is evidence by the arty mid-track bridge where the band indulges in some Brian Eno style weirdness. If anything, they’re showing how great the core song writing of the tune is and how much they can flip the script and bust it up. They’re also having fun, which is good, because so am I.