The Big Takeover

Whispering Campaign

“In my review of Tulipomania’s 2002 self-titled debut, I described their atmospheric music as ‘dramatic, foreboding, and gripping,’ and those attributes still hold true on this even better third LP. As on 2007’s Anamorphic, frontman Tom Murray handles both guitars (taking over those duties from original member Mitch Smith) and bass. And like before, those dark, shadowy guitars gnash and bite like buzzsaws, while the deliberately paced grooves are sinister and repetitive. Meanwhile, Cheryl Gelover’s spacious, ghostly synths are more omnipresent, gradually building the tension and trepidation until the listener becomes totally absorbed. Finally, I’ve wholly succumbed to Murray’s oddly pitched, discomforting vocals, finding that they perfectly suit the music’s anxiety-filled vibe. His one-of-a-kind trill ensures that songs such as “Shape Me Up” and “Halfway Point” resemble nothing else out there.”

Mark Suppanz The Big Takeover, Issue 69

 

"Anamorphic" cinematographers and photographers squeeze wide angles into small frames using a special lens. So, too, does this Greater Philadelphia band centered on worker bee Tom Murray (doing double duty on guitars and bass). Their gnarly, noisy guitars expand, not contract, the sonic waves over strict, heavy-discipline, mid-tempo dance rhythms. Having grown bored of today's angular, stripped-down post-punk dance rock revival mania, I nevertheless find Tulipomania completely, oppositely refreshing–because of Murray's guitars, guitars, guitars! They're gnashing, violent, dark, and distorted, yet so spread-out, it's like some unearthed third cousin of Steve Albini circa "Kerosene," old Effigies guitarist Earl Letiecq circa "Security," or Geordie Walker of Killing Joke circa "Tension." The grooves are mean and repetitive, so they start to get to you too, as Murray's heaving vocals sound like a man being punched in the stomach while smoking. Stand up and take your punishment.

Review by Jack Rabid Publsher/Editor - The Big Takeover issue No. 60