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Tub Ring: The Great Filter

Quirky. We'll use that word many times in this review.

Tub Ring's strength lies in their ideas and their songwriting. The Great Filter is a collection of creative ideas and very catchy melodies, and has that 're-playability' factor. It's the fun, the damn-the-torpedoes attitude and the upbeat vibe that will catch you by the ear and keep you listening.

Don't look for enormous progressive complexities or long epics - and particularly, don't look for strong musicianship or any great chops. The performances are average at best - but that's not what this record is about.

There's tremendous variety in the 14 short songs (none longer than 4-1/2 minutes) that make uo The Great Filter. The styles range from eclectic metal a la Stolen Babies ("Glass Companion") to Mr. Bungle to punk ("Get Help (Now!)") to ballad to folk ("My Job Here Is Done") to grunge to flamenco-meets-punk ("No One Wants to Play") to hard pop to just plain quirky ("Seven Exodus"). And adding to that variety is the instrumentation which - besides the standard rock ensemble - includes violin, church bells, sax, trumpet, cello, and female choruses.

Based in Chicago, the quintet has entertained and often confused audiences with their eclectic and powerful stage shows and four studio albums since 1992.

Not the band's best effort, and not the most prog nor the most metallic record you'll hear this year. But it's a cool listen nonetheless - and damn, it's fun.

And it's quirky!

Track Listing:
1 Friends and Enemies
2 The Charasmatic Smile
3 Seven Exodus
4 Get Help (Now!)
5 When the Crash Happened
6 Killers in Love
7 No One Wants to Play
8 Requiem for a Robot
9 Life in Transition
10 Glass Companion
11 Making No Sound (At All)
12 The Truth
13 Wrong Kind of Message
14 My Job Here Is Done

Added: May 27th 2007
Reviewer: Duncan Glenday
Related Link: The Band's Website
Hits: 2995
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Tub Ring: The Great Filter
Posted by Ryan Sparks, SoT Staff Writer on 2007-05-27 06:57:59
My Score:

Chicago based Tub Ring first began to take shape in the early 90's when after beginning as High School punk band they were noticed by Mr. Bungle guitarist Trey Spruance who took such a liking to them that he ended up producing their debut release. While Bungle may have planted the seed somewhat in the mid 80's with their unique blend of avant-garde rock, bands like Tub Ring have continued to carry the torch.

The music on The Great Filter while not as far out either lyrically or musically as Bungle, does have it's own aura of unpredictability interspersed throughout which generally keeps things interesting . The two key main architects primarily responsible for the bands sound and overall musical direction are vocalist Kevin Gibson and keyboardist Rob Kleiner respectively. Gibson's voice almost ventures into emo-territory at times but his distinctive tone helps give many of the songs their aggressive Ritalin infused edge necessary to take things over the top. Kleiner's sonic collage of sounds runs quite deep as he employs a wide variety of samples and effects in order to further broaden the musical canvas. While the songs on this album don't come off as being extremely technical, credit should be given to the musicians for taking the chances that they do with the music because there are definitely some interesting ideas presented here. At the end of the day though my general feelings of indifference won out and ultimately this is a take it or leave it disc. If you like your music a little off kilter, then chances are you'll find The Great Filter to be an enjoyable listen.

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