Released in late March of 2021, Duly Noted is TUNS’ second full album and first new music since 2018. The band is labeled as a “Canadian indie rock supergroup” on their Wikipedia page, as it consists of Mike O’Neill of The Inbreds, Matt Murphy of The Super Friendz, and… Chris Murphy of Sloan. So, now you know how I got here.
Putting my Sloan fanboy side… aside, TUNS do know how to put together some legit rock ‘n roll. The album’s design is slightly punk-ish. Crude (but awesome) drawings make up for the artwork on the sleeves, while the 12 tunes add up to a brisk 32 minute listen.
Their music is anything but punk as TUNS is a vibrant band. Their sound is in the vein of the early-2000s indie rock revival, layered with catchy Beatles-like melodies (with harmonies) on top. There is also a bright-sounding, with ample reverb, Byrds-like lead guitar that shows up often enough to give me Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet vibes. In short, they have an exceptional sound.
Sound is one thing, songwriting is another, and these guys loaded Duly Noted with stand-out tracks. I dig My Memories as I’m a sucker for a slightly melancholy harmony matched with an up-tempo beat…
…and the album’s closer We’re Living In It Now. I know the song’s lyrics are about a relationship, but the current world’s events have me putting my own spin on the chorus. I also like the upbeat We Stand United, the bluesy Flags for Curtains, and the beefy Abby Road-type guitar riff on I’ll Only Love You More.
If I were to find some things to nitpick about, In the Middle of the Way Home isn’t a strong opener. Music and Words, which launches side B, does a much better job of delivering the album’s overall flavor. And the songs do blend together a little too well making it fiddly to differentiate between them. Yeah, I said fiddly.
All in all though, Duly Noted is a simple, short, and fun ride without a dog track. As of this writing, the LP is still available on their website and I believe the print run is limited. So, check them out. They’re on Bandcamp, Spotify, YouTube Music, and Apple. If you like what you hear, buy it while you still can. Highly recommended!