Music News

The Tunes and Tones

In a region populated by alt-rockers, rappers, and an overabundance of like-minded cover combos, the Tunes and Tones' homespun ramble and sway provides South Florida with a rare hint of an Americana attitude. Not that these four homeboys are big on down-home twang; aside from the backwoods strum of the ironically titled album opener "Originality," The Rolling Stone Effect generally takes an amiable sort of spin — a loose, slightly frayed delivery that's deliberately offhanded and frequently off-kilter. "You Do More," "Evelyn," "Glory Home," "Suzie the Mortician," and "Sweet Caress" amble along nonchalantly. The acoustic guitars and shuffled rhythms complement vocals that reside somewhere between Nirvana and Neil Young. Still, the best songs — specifically, the rowdy and rambunctious "Hey" and the frisky, upturned optimism of "About Life" — are those that find a focus, helping to shore up the album's rougher edges and imbue it with some much-needed cohesion. Indeed, quality isn't necessarily synonymous with quantity; despite their generosity in offering 17 tracks, the Tunes and Tones leave a suspicion that they're stretching themselves thin. Midway through the disc, the songs begin to sound somewhat repetitious, as if the band's doing all it can to pad the proceedings. Chalk that up to their rookie inexperience, a shortcoming that will hopefully be rectified the next time around. For now anyway, the Tunes and Tones may not be pitch perfect, but it's a sound beginning nonetheless.
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Lee Zimmerman