PLAYING DETROIT: Handgrenades “Tunnels”

COLUMNS|Playing Detroit


Alt-indie five-some, Handgrenades delivered their sophomore LP Tunnels earlier this month, a diversified, hook-laden kaleidoscope that explodes with disciplined revelry. There’s nothing particularly weighty about Tunnels, and no molds were forged nor broken but what is accomplished here are a series of consistent and caffeinated arrangements that propel the record into the new familiar. Each track wants to so badly to be so many things but is done so with equal parts focus and frenzy resulting in a record that ends up being an inspired version of itself.

“Daily Routine,” has a bloody but sunshiny mid-2000’s-vibe alt-anthem with jittery percussions and heartbroken choral bursts of desperation leading into “The Watcher,” with foggy distortion and jutting guitar licks feels trapped between genres without a destination. The albums valiant single “Suffocating,” though lyrically meek, is rescued by its Muse-esque vocals and purposefully and effectively spastic instrumental choreography giving the aural illusion of both gasping for air and receiving it making the track. “In Abesetia” dances with theatrics and “Wrapped in Plastic” parties with Brand New inspired vocals and guitar vs. percussion spacing and when preceding Tunnels eery final track “Daydream” (which is sort of reminiscent of Radiohead’s track “Daydreamers” from their latest but with ample restraint) reminds the listener that this record is a complete thought. All the territories they sought to explore were touched, and in doing so, Handgrenades concocted the perfect formula to fuse their wide and wild expressions with a polished fervor that seems more seasoned than not and more than sincere than flippant.

Find the light at the end with Handgrenades’ latest below:

  • MUSIQUE BOUTIQUE: JNA, Jaws of Brooklyn, Liza Minnelli, Student Nurse, Doris Troy

  • MORNING AFTER: Peaches and Sausage with The Values

  • PET POLITICS: Ryan Foster of Warm Body Finds Love With a Cat Named Romeo