The first couple Tomorrows Tulips albums sound like what it must have been like to be on quaaludes back in the 70s. Not the douchey Wolf of Wall Street kind, the but the original lazy and burnt out on a sunny afternoon stuff. But with “Baby,” the first track of the new release When, they jolt out the haze and into a more Pavement-esque pop sound. They follow with songs like “Laying in the Sun” and the title track “When,” which both sound solidly like The Velvet Underground. One of the strongest tracks is “Papers By the TV,” with a simple chord structure that proves sometimes less is more. The most alluring song by far is “Glued to You,” with fuzzy baselines dripped in sex, in a dreary So-Cal kind of way.
The videos they have produced so far, especially for “Baby,” are where they really nail it. Showing expressionless bare-breasted women in front of a simple backdrop is way ahead of it’s time. It’s refreshing to see a band have the balls to put something a little avant garde in the interwebs. Wouldn’t it be nice to see some more bands do music videos again? It creates a much more lasting impression than just the music alone.
The band formed when Alex Knost took a permanent hiatus from Japanese Motors to do something a little more DIY, with simple chord structures and slacker lyrics. He found Ford Archibold, whose chops on bass balance out the band perfectly. They added Paz Lenchantin, (the Pixies bass player) to add some distortion and experimental touches like backwards violin on the new album. The result is the best bummer rock that’s been put out in a while. The Costa Mesa crew have really reworked that kind of post-punk grunge that is cycling back into the scene now. They’re gearing up for a big European tour this spring, making several stops in Germany (who will love them), France and Switzerland. »
– Scott McHale