From drivetime to Krautrock’s motorik, motion is one of music’s more persistent touchstones. Rarely, though, does the romance of commuting figure much. But [a]Bridge & Tunnel[/a] – named after the sneering New York term for suburbanites – have come to change all that.
Theirs is a glowering e-symphony of deserted train stations at night, of blackened puddles and the thud of a stranger’s footfalls. Tracks like ‘Drive-By Summer’ rumble with an electronic menace sharpened by horror film strings, while ‘Between Cities’ shuffles, twitches and chugs into a dark limbo. So far, so fare-paying.
But it’s never really enough. There [I]are[/I] chinks of light in this tunnel, like their ace debut single, ‘Borough Of Kings’ – all playful Kraftwerk vocoders and hazy summertime synth. But you suspect this duo of transplanted New Yorker and expat German “sound designer” aren’t really too keen on the end of the line, as ‘Borough…’ sneers at the habits of young out-of-towners ([I]”So many things to do/Watch the girls/And then get a tattoo”[/I]) and tucks smugly into a cocktail in Hoxton, London’s fashionable-young-thing ghetto, from whence B&T really hail.
Too sleek, poised and knowing to be a true sound of the suburbs, ‘Bridge & Tunnel’ turns into a dead end.