Tongue – At the Beginning, Review

Released ;- March 23rd, 2012 Label;- AFMusic

“The first Czech Deathrock band with a Goth/post-punk/occult attitude” (from their FB page)

Tongue T – vocal, guitar, bass, lyrics Tongue J – vocal, drums, lyrics, production Sudlice – artworks

The Czech Republic isn’t usually somewhere one thinks of when talking about Goth, post punk or Death rock, but this is something that Czeck duo Tongue hope to change with their impressive début release “At the Beginning”, a 7 track affair release on Germany’s AFMusic label.

“At the Beginning” opens with “Statement”, which is exactly what the title says it is, a statement in the form of a sample where we spend a minute or so listening to a call for us to get mad at the state of the world and how bad it is. From there the release opens the throttle with some dark post punk that could have come right out of he late 70s and early 80s save for the improved production qualities. Shrieking guitars marry up with a thumping drum line and maudlin lyrics that pick up where the “Statement” left off.

“Casual T’s” is next up with some classic death rock guitar work and a somewhat and a central refrain that “Rain is going to flush it all away” pulling us deeper still into Tongues post-punk inspired world with an energy and enthusiasm that is good to hear.

“Insensitive” opens with more of an early 90s Darkwave feel, minus the predictable synth line that blighted the genre for a while. It’s not long before the post-punk influence comes through again. The pace is a little slower now, but still good gothic 3-stepping fair with a dark vocal filled with world weariness rather than the frenetic anger of the previous tracks. There is something of a dark indie feel here as well that will appeal to fans of bands like Ending the Vicious Cycle or A place to bury strangers as well as fans of post punk act like Into Paradise or The Lords of the New Church.

“Speechless” slows the pace down again and once more crosses post punk and dark indie to bring you another excellent track. Keep an eye on your limbs whilst you listen to this one, it will not be long before one or more of them is tapping away to the music. As befits the tracks title it lacks a vocal line, but unlike many tracks that go down that road you don’t find yourself expecting one to kick in any second.

All too soon it is time for the last track on the release, “Statement 2” which, to my mind is the weakest track of the bunch, but don’t let that put you off, “weakest” is a relative term after all and this is still a damn side better than a lot of what is out there. It is in many ways reminiscent of “Radio Werewolf” with an 80s-90s American metal influenced guitar and percussion line not uncommon in US Deathrock both old an new.

The 7 track release leaves you wanting more and eagerly awaiting the bands next output.

All in all a very good EP that will appeal to fans of Deathrock, post-punk and dark indie music, evoking echoes of the Batcave. For fans of Play dead, Radio Werewolf, early period Gene Loves Jezebel ( “Shaving my neck” sort of period – before they got a bit wishy-washy).