The time has finally come. Tsunami Bomb’s first studio release in fifteen years has released today. For an early self-admittance, I didn’t get into the band’s music until years after they had broken up in 2004. I know, because I remember staying back in the stands of Peoria Sports Complex, for Warped Tour 2003, when a high school friend tried to get me to watch them. I have course corrected in that time, digging into their catalog and making amends. It helped that they compiled some of their greatest hits on the compilation release “Trust No One” after returning to action in 2015. However, “The Spine That Binds” marks their first full studio release since reforming.
My first thoughts listening to it this week was it sounds like No Doubt’s “Return of Saturn” album had been smashed together with horror punk and garage rock. Kate Jacobi’s vocals doubled with catchy tunes like “Last Call” invoked similar thoughts of Gwen Stefani and that album. Oobliette Sparks’ keys are fast paced and more pronounced on this album’s audio mix. They are what lead me to think of garage rock with similar sounds as the band, The Darts. The way she plays the keyboard coupled with the album’s own darker themes are where the thought of horror punk’s influence arose.
Speaking of that audio mix, this easily is their best produced album. Albeit, that their last full studio album was fifteen years ago and music production has improved in that time. The layering of the instrumental tracks feels like there is depth to these songs. It is an excellent blend, vocals above all with the drums and guitar second most prominent and keys weaved through the course of the songs. There is a crispness to it that makes it so much more wonderful through the right speakers or headphones. Overall, I’d say this album says Tsunami Bomb is back and better than before.
Album provided for review.