East / West

New York's Bridge and Tunnel ply their trade in the throat-shredding DIY rock that Hot Water Music made muy popular, paired with the dual male/female vocals of early, noisier Rainer Maria, but with the added bonus of having vocalists of both genders being able to carry a tune. They may be from Long Island, but the Bridge and Tunnel sound is grounded in the Midwestern rock of late last century. If you liked Braid or Compound Red, East/West could be your pair of high-water Dickies. Jeff Cunningham sounds a bit like Bob Nanna and there are a lot of the same guitar and arrangement sensibilities, every once in a while kicked up with a bit of Geoff Farina six-string flash to keep it interesting. Tia and Rachel more than represent for the females as well, playing their asses off and holding their own at the mike stand on tracks like "Night Owls".

Bridge and Tunnel are a comparatively new outfit, but they sound more like a band than outfits twice their age. When they settle into a groove and put their shoulder into it, like on the coda of "The World Series", there are glimmers of a young Jawbox, and that can't be a bad thing. It seems like Var and Ken at No Idea feel the same way -- there aren't so many bands from the Northeast on the vaunted bastion of beard-core and Bridge and Tunnel are a worthy representative. In fact, the closing "As Close as I Can" it one of my 'best tracks of the year,' with male and female vocals riding a wave of sound. That wave hits the beach far too quickly, but trust me, you'll be picking up the needle and playing East/West again as soon it ends.

Bridge And Tunnel
No Idea Records

East / West