By Carolina de Busto
By Ben Westhoff and Sarah Purkrabek
By Steve Brennan
By Joseph Hess
By Allsion Babka
By Kelsey McClure
By RFT Music
By Christian Schaeffer
Have the three ladies and one gentleman in That's My Daughter softened their mix of flash and fury for the group's second release? The opening moments of It Takes Tuna Tango sound like a Pixies' 45 rpm record slowed down to 33 1/3, with errant guitar notes floating above some staggered plucks on the bass guitar. The languid tempo and open space is just a tease — the rest of opening track "A Million Years Ago" muscles along with fuzzed-out power chord and a Greek chorus of vocals, setting the template for the rest of the album. Guitarist Cory Hammerstone and bassist Sara Oberst split vocal duties through most of the album, though guitarist Tim Dreste jumps on the mic from time to time. Drummer Lindsay Reber is in charge of keeping the beat, and she propels these three-chords bashers while wrangling her bandmates into place.
It Takes Tuna Tango was recorded and produced by Mario Viele and Jason Hutto, and in keeping with both producers' m.o., the record sounds like it was committed to tape in one sweaty evening; there are no noticeable overdubs or studio sweetening, just lots of crunchy guitar chords and competing (but not quite harmonizing) vocal lines. TMD gives a nice nod to Hutto through a cover of "Butch in Springtime," originally cut by his old band Sexicolor. It's one of two covers here (the other is the Welders' "SOS (Stamp Out Sex)"). The seven original tracks are painted in broad strokes, though the Dreste-led "Superman" shimmers with a little girl-group spit-and-polish without going too twee. The music is worth hearing on its own merits, but the packaging and artwork are noteworthy as well. Dani Kantrowitz's watercolors of sad-eyed waifs, sock puppets and skinned knees offer a softer visual complement to the slip-shod tunes and brash sexuality on the record.
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