niedziela, 16 listopada 2014

Mick Chwedziak - Polish prog-rock's finest symphony

The band Tune don't play your ordinary arty, chaotic, self-centred songs. At least not anymore! Their new album Identity, promo tour of which started on November 15th 2014 with a performance in Wroclaw, Poland, is a declaration of identity of the most promising Polish prog/art-rock band. This album is a work so strong and complex, that to all new listeners of Tune I would recommend not to go back to their first release, the album "Lucid Moments", for any other reason but as a curiosity trip and ability to see the colossal development that the musicians have experienced and improvement that resulted.

The band have abandoned the musical concept of sadness, spreading instead a great variety of emotions, triumphantly creating one of the best arrangements you can hear on the Polish music scene. I will therefore now cease to look at them from this narrow home-country-based perspective and take a step further, because Tune is far better than that. So what exactly does "Identity" bring to the table?

The album opens with an instrumental Intro, swiftly followed by the first actual song "Live to work to live". Sounds reminding us of an industrial environment have a purpose of creating a heavy background for serious lyrical contemplation about the post-modern enslavement of the individual. An interesting tale with a majestic music accompaniment.
"Disposable", number three on the record, brings in a lot of energy. We hear the sounds of the 90s from which, these gents growing up in that era, cannot really escape. It's ambitious, but there is also a grunge-like dirt. Guitar-wise we are met with excellently polished arrangements and a spacious sound.

fot.Grzegorz Kostulski
In "Change" moody piano parts penetrate your mind and stay with you long after you finished listening to it. It is a track painting a defined picture and as is the case with paintings, each person can see a varying level of depth. I appreciate the artistic ambition and with admiration listen to the arrangement cut out with a surgical precision. This song reminds me of the better works of Pink Floyd.

Possibly the biggest hit of the album is #5, "Trendy Girl". It's very British. At times it reminds you of The Clash, The Smiths, Madness or Bush and Arctic Monkeys. Catchy chorus combined with a pulsating rhythm and well-thought-out lyrics edging on ironic and sarcastic should guarantee a positive response from the music scene. A potential chart-topper. Definitely my pick for a single.

The next track, "Deafening", completely changes the atmosphere. An epic story with intelligent arrangement, beautiful guitar parts, touching ascending/descending piano lines, emotional solos and a skilled final mix of drums. All of these are ingredients of a song so outstanding, that it will without a doubt impress all sorts of music experts and an audience that appreciates musical/artistic values.

Personally, I've never been a big fan of progressive rock. The only album of the genre that I genuinely got to love was Pink Floyd's "The Division Bell". And now this lack of progressive background is going to come out a bit... I really got to love the simplicity of "Crackpot", LPs number seven. Simplicity so abruptly knocked down by the over-arty piano in the chorus. My first, not-so-serious issue directed at Tune. Maybe it isn't much, but this is how, in my opinion, sometimes you can over-do something.

So back to the positives. The last two songs complete this musical thought very well, showing another dimensions of the band's unquestionable talent, referring at the same time to inspirations drawn from the greats of the genre and of the wider rock scene.

Impressions after listening to "Identity" for the tenth time are even stronger than after the first listen. It tells us something about the quality and depth of this music. The musical ability of the gentlemen from Tune seems to be limitless, their creative output echoing in my head for hours after each time I listen to this album. And this is coming from, let me remind you again, someone not listening to too much prog-rock, someone that isn't a fan of the new art-rock scene like Muse. I would therefore prefer to think of Tune more like of a progressive version of rock that is dirty and genuine. More Arctic Monkeys than King Crimson.

The musicians have excellently completed the task of finding their own identity, that they set themselves through the title. The compositions are mature, lyrics meaningful and well-written (with the exception of a few rhythmical flaws), and the final sound is world class. You also cannot ignore the terrific grasp of the sung English language by the singer, Kuba Krupski, who has put an excellent effort in making sure that his pronunciation and accent sound as "London" as possible, which for someone permanently living in a non-English speaking country is a fantastic achievement.

There is nothing left for me to do but to congratulate the band for creating a wonderful piece of work and encourage everyone else to listen and purchase this release. It will grace anyone's music collection and I'm sure that every rock fan will find something valuable. Today Polish prog-rock stands proud, and Tune is its face.

Mick Chwedziak

is a singer songwriter from Wroclaw, Poland, living in London. His music sits somewhere between blues and folk-rock with a hint of country. For sometime Mick has been exploring his other passion and has become a co-writer for the Music Journey blog, reviewing music releases.

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