The CLUAS Archive: 1998 - 2011


A review of the album 'Our First American Friends' by Tubelord

Tubelord - Our First American FriendsReview Snapshot: The debut album by Cockney math rockers Tubelord and is somewhat of a gem amongst a genre in which bands often find it difficult to stand out from the crowd.

The Cluas Verdict? 8 out of 10

Full Review: Tubelord are already well known on the Irish alternative scene having gigged in a number of Irish cities. It's good to see they manage to capture the same energy on 'Our First American Friends, their debut album, as they do live.

In the UK the band has also been gaining quite a reputation where their first single 'Feed Me A Box of Words' was very well received by critics. 'Our First American Friends'  was also well recieved in Rock Sound magazine, amongst others.

Mixing a blend of cracking harmonies, upbeat melodies and seemingly endless time changes, the album keeps forever you on your toes. Often single songs include five or six completely different tracks sublimely stitched together, so much so that one could land oneself in an entirely different tune without even noticing.
my personal favorite on the album, starting slowly before building up to a climax of overdrive and screaming harmonies, is the track 'I Am Azerrad'. However while buried in the tune - the song itself a reference to the band's distaste of journalist Michael Azerrad - it's easy to lose track of the lyrics which inlcude lines such as 'Can you feel the back of my head please? / I think the screws are rattling loose'. .
One of the main reasons this album shines out amongst releases by other math rockers is the superb drumming of David Catmur. In songs that change beat regularly at the drop of a hat; it's Catmur's touch that allows these seamless transitions, as well as being able to change tempo without fuss, both in the studio and live.
'Cows to the East, Cities to the West', which follows 'I Am Azerrad', changes the tone completely, playing more like a lullaby then an indie track. 
The album starts and ends with the line 'Sleep, it's over' which ironically is the last thing one would want to do when the CD comes out of the disc tray.

Kevin Galvin


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