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A Brilliant Mistake

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Album Review

Tsunami's records are usually excellent, but on A Brilliant Mistake they reached a new peak. This stroke of brilliance corresponds to the tragic end of the band's Simple Machines label after seven years of near-flawless production and indie rock mining. The band's earlier attempts at punk rock were often tedious at best, but with these 13 songs Tsunami put aside their punk ambitions and created a clean, cohesive record. On "Old Grey Mare," singer Jenny Toomey croons about the metaphorical, while two songs later, pulsing horns accompany her as she wails about struggling against the grain of mainstream society. A Brilliant Mistake is pure, mellifluous indie rock, the place where a genuine D.I.Y. ethos meets pure pop sensibility. As expected, the album is strewn with literary references, from a song dedicated to David Foster Wallace to odd lyrics reworking elements of Allen Ginsberg's Howl. This record is often brilliant but never a mistake.


Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '80s

Characterized by their muscular guitar sound and the powerful vocals of frontwoman Jenny Toomey, the aptly named Tsunami were among the most important and original bands to emerge from the American indie scene of the 1990s; the motivating force behind the highly regarded Simple Machines label, Tsunami were noted for their sociopolitical activism and unwavering commitment to D.I.Y. principles, which established them among the most respected voices in the alternative community. The band was formed...
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