Friday, June 18, 2021

Modern post-punk band Tube Amp 101 have released a brand-new EP – ‘True Friend’

They have taken inspiration from the classic rock of the ’60s and ’90s and blended it with modern tropes. This results in a unique brand of music that’s very relaxing and laid-back, whilst being complex enough to get music nerds excited. They’re immensely talented and that talent is on full display in ‘True Friend’.

On ‘True Friend’, Tube Amp 101’s dreamy instrumentation and overlapping vocals create a very ambient atmosphere.

It makes for easy listening for the casual audience, while more attentive listeners have plenty of substance to sink their teeth into.


The first song on ‘True Friend’, entitled ‘Disconnection’, begins with a bouncy drum beat and a Zappa-esque lead guitar riff. The lyrical content is of particular interest - it delves into the psychology of addiction and its relationship with society. Thought-provoking stuff for the EP’s first track. Tube Amp 101 clearly aren’t scared to speak their mind.


The second song is the title track of the EP - it’s a somber record, despite retaining an up-tempo beat. It focuses on the emotions of losing a friend – a ‘True Friend’, if you will. The piece begins with a trademark Tube Amp 101’s jangly guitar riff, before developing distinct surf-rock vibes.


‘Strawberry Smile’ is the best song on ‘True Friend’, with wonderful instrumentation and wistful lyrics. The guitar work on this track is sensational, accompanied by a great solo at the beginning. Joining the guitar is a peaceful piano piece that permeates the song. The drum beats are appropriately economical, occasionally bursting into life as the track swells.


‘Falling Down’ is an alternative version of a song that was originally on Tube Amp 101’s previous release, ‘Anxiety’. While the original version is fine, this is clearly the superior version - it sounds much cleaner. It’s a welcomed addition – it’s also nice to see artists finding ways to improve upon their existing work.


Finally, the last song is an instrumental version of ‘Strawberry Smile’. After listening to four great songs, this was a nice little bonus. Some may chastise this, but remember – this is an EP, not a full-length album.


‘True Friend’ is a fresh take on a genre that people may think has become exhausted. It hasn’t, and ‘True Friend’ proves this. It’s wonderfully summery, yet solemn at the same time. This is Tube Amp 101’s best work to date, and they only seem to be getting better.


Jimmy Johnson

Image: Official EP Artwork

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