Tunic’s 2019 debut full-length Complexion showcased a band exploring the realm of punk inflected noise-rock. The Winnipeg based three-piece blazed through 11 tracks of frenetic, angular guitar, and driving, fuzzed-out bass riffs that landed somewhere at the crossroads of Drive Like Jehu and Unsane. Complexion’s run-time may have been just over 22 minutes, but the album was jam-packed with as many ideas as possible.
On their follow-up, Quitter, Tunic offer more of the same spastic discordance, albeit slightly more fine tuned. The band still utilize a grimy AmRep Records sounding production, but they come off a bit more approachable. Guitarist David Schellenberg’s vocals have a hint of melody added to his yelled delivery, and drummer Dan Unger has upped their game, seamlessly shifting through spontaneous rhythm changes.
Like its predecessor, Quitter is a short record with the band blasting through eleven songs that rarely go much over the two-minute mark. It’s with these short bursts of electric energy that Tunic have developed their identity. The songs are structured around flashes of noisy chaos and trembling bass lines provided by Rory Ellis, who has since left the band. On a track like “You’re A Bug,” the trio lean more towards the noisy hardcore end of the spectrum, calling to mind a band like Botch, while the title track, with washes of feedback and a roaring bass line plays closer to The Jesus Lizard.
The group show their chops with the odd-metered opening to “Common Denominator” before diving back into their straight ahead attack. And that’s one of the albums downsides—Quitter does tend to get a bit tedious as it runs on. Many of the songs sound similar; even tracks like “Stuck” and “Fake Interest,” which start off in a slower, grungier aesthetic, end up kicking into the same familiar sounding drum beat that runs throughout record.
Of course, at a 21-minute run time, it can’t get too exhausting and the material is strong enough to hold its own even with its similar sounding characteristics. With Quitter, Tunic have taken a step up from their debut and while they aren’t blowing the doors off the noise-rock scene, the band shows plenty of potential to continue to grow.
Quitter is out October 15, order it here