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This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… Tones on Tail April 27, 2019

Posted by WorldbyStorm in This Weekend I'll Mostly Be Listening to....
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Tones on Tail are a curiously unremarked group. A side project/successor band to Bauhaus – of which opinion is mixed, they consisted of Daniel Ash, Kevin Haskins and Glenn Campling, missing only guitarists David J.

Pretentious, surely, as all the immediate post-Bauhaus spin-offs were. Self-consciously arty. Likewise. And yet, for my money this was a fantastic late post-punk excursion. Dancey – well sort of in that early to mid 80s funk inflected way, melodic, atmospheric and playful to a degree that Bauhaus, a ponderous creature much of the time, simply weren’t.

The best track for my money? Rain, a piece freighted with soft, atonal keyboards that somehow coheres into an almost perfect example of mid-period post-punk and then fades directly into Real Life.

But if those two shine just a bit brighter than all else there’s a scope here that is much wider than might be anticipated. Performance has sequenced keyboards interacting set against drum machines. How We Lustre is shoutey, and why not, set against an insistent repetitive bassline. Lions prefigures future offerings from Ash and Haskin’s Love and Rockets.

Perhaps surprisingly the band’s output has had a curious afterlife, appearing as soundtracks for a range of films, television shows and so on, right up to Stranger Things and Rick and Morty. Make of that what you will.

What I like most about ToT is the sense that pop didn’t have to be predictable, that it could be spiky, restless and experimental. And that was true of a lot of post punk, a moment when the promise and actuality of opportunity of music was clear.

Enjoy.

The Rain

Real Life

War

Lions

Movement of Fear

Go

Now We Lustre

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