In an interview with HRH this past August Big Cock guitarist Dave Henzerling mentioned a new unnamed project he was working on with former Icon vocalist Scott Hammons with a late 70-early 80’s feel to it, what Mr. Henzerling failed to mention in our interview is that the music from this project is the best and most enjoyable 29 minute ass whipping you will ever get.
Now some 4 months later it’s time for that project now called Tunnel to be let loose on the masses. If you are expecting Big Cock Version 2 you may be sadly disappointed, Tunnel is a whole new animal with a great 70’s vibe and surprisingly a little Lynch Mob vibe to it as well, courtesy of vocalist Scott Hammons, who’s bluesy raspy voice sounds like a mix of Robert Mason and Oni Logan, former and present Lynch Mob vocalists. If you haven’t heard Hammons singing before you are in for quite a surprise. With a little help from drummer Ryan Hoyle, background singer Marc LaFrance, and Steve Ouimette, Henzerling and Hammons have put together a great straight-up in your face hard rock project that leave you wanting more. Even though it has been released here in late November the music on Tunnel’s self-titled debut is the kind that needs to be played at maximum volume as you are roaring down the road with the top down.
If I had to describe this album in two words, groove-laden, are the words I would choose. Every song on this album is loaded with groove, but none more so than the opening track “Sound of Thunder” and it is a great introduction to what Tunnel have in store for us on this release. A groove laden, in your face, foot stomping good time is what “Sound of Thunder” is. Dave Henzerling has a very cool intro and solo on this song and he shows you can be a great guitarist without having to pull off a ego feeding flashy prolonged solo. The band’s debut single “Blood On The Highway” is next and simply put it’s the kind of song that once it is in your head it is impossible to get it out. From the opening chants to the very cool bass lines laid down here the playing on this anthem sounds like it is being played by a seasoned band that has been playing and touring together for years. “Open Up For Me” is a dirty little rocker and the first of two songs with a heavy Lynch Mob influence. Scott Hammons has sounded good on this album so far but he sounds great on this song. Amazing he can get so much feeling and emotion into this song despite it only being 2 1/2 minutes long.
After hearing the first 3 songs on this album I was definitely not expecting a song like “Into The Sun”, Wow!! Spanish flavored guitar, strings, woodwinds, horns, and yet it still manages to rock as well. While I wouldn’t call this epic a ballad, it is without a doubt a love song about someone very special to Henzerling. “American Metal” is a straight up rocker that gets us back in line foot stomping, hand clapping and roaring down the highway again. “In Your Groove” is the second Lynch Mob sounding song I was talking about earlier and it absolutely smokes, great song. The guys slow it down again and take a little Led Zeppelin approach with “the Balcony” another very cool song. Seven songs from Tunnel so far, seven extremely good songs, but they definitely saved the best for last in my opinion with “Garden of Your Earthly Delights” a bluesy dirty rocker with a great sing along chorus and a fantastic jam by Henzerling to close out the song.
If you like bluesy groove filled songs with sing along choruses and great playing, you can’t go wrong by picking up Tunnel’s debut. If I had one thing to say to Scott and Dave it would simply be I need more, 8 songs just isn’t enough Tunnel.
Digital downloads of Tunnel can be purchased at LaLa.com along with I-Tunes, Amazon, Rhapsody, & Napster. C.D.’s can be purchased straight from the band at www.tunnelonline.net or CDBaby.com You can also preview songs at their myspace. The one thing you do not want to do is miss out on this album.
Rating: Out of 10