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Modern Mod: Tunnels (Crasseaux Records)

Jun. 29, 2014
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Funny how the good intentions behind putting together different parts can create something wholly different than expected. The Madison high schoolers of Modern Mod claim as influences the sort of garage rock favored by Little Steven Van Zandt on “Underground Garage” and surf music. The result heard on their Kickstarter-funded debut, Tunnels, reverberates with the aforementioned sounds.

However, with the guitar not “wet” as Dick Dale and playing not wild as the most crazed bands on the garage-rock compilation Nuggets, the fetching result even more strongly speaks of a musical diet high in ’80s U.K. indie pop. Mild manners and copious jangle entwine toward fairly sophisticated sentiments on the edge of adulthood and precocious nostalgia. If singer Emily Massey sounds conflicted with unresolved emotion throughout much of her band’s 10 songs, she offers an edge of truthfulness that pop music by people her age seldom musters. Modern Mod have insinuated themselves into their city’s music scene to a prominent level in short order, and at the rate of maturation heard here, a greater public likely awaits them if they so desire.


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