The Tone // The Tone
Recommended Track: Boss
Face it, it’s difficult to come up with something original. This is especially true today when you consider just how readily a person can access a multitude of thoughts, feelings, opinions and moods from artists, both living and dead, from all over the world. This window into the minds and creative processes of so many other people can sometimes paralyze a person’s creativity to the point where some may disavow acceptance of well-established norms to try and forge their own, quite frankly, weird and off-putting musical identity. When the planets align this can create something wonderful, but most of the time it’s trash. Thankfully Mike Kriebal, ex-frontman of Phillidelphia’s The Eeries, and sole mastermind behind The Tone plays it cool and embraces the influence of yesterday’s sounds.
This self-titled release kicks off with a wicked number called “Long, Long Time” that keen ears will notice takes cues from the arrangement of The Beatles’ cover of “Ain’t She Sweet.” Indeed, all the essentials from that period of music are present: the chimey guitars, raked chords, jaunty drum work and a rather unobtrusive low end that punctuates each chord change in a fashion recalling McCartney before he started blasting his mind on LSD and using his bass to lead a song’s melody rather than support it. Where “Long, Long Time” may recall the seemingly clean-cut image of British Beat in ’64, the tracks “I’ve Got Your Troubles (You’ve Got Mine)”, “Don’t Wanna Go” and ” Not Long Now Soon” certainly represent the early forays into psych rock made by bands on either side of the Atlantic a scant two years later. The wildcard on this release is definitely “Boss,” which brings to mind a stellar college radio slacker jam circa 1994 — the kind that many grown millennials may hold dearly in their adolescent memories from untold many brief excursions into the rooms of their older siblings.
Although it is rather short and may offer a rather passive experience to listeners craving something more introspective or thought-provoking, this self-titled release from The Tone does a fine job of culling inspiration from (arguably) two of modern popular music’s more enjoyable decades and doing so rather faithfully, standing in stark contrast to numerous other assorted throwback groups out there today. After all, you have to know where you’ve been before you know where you’re headed, right?