The Tunnel – Fathoms Deep

January 01, 1970

(Glorious Alchemical Co.)


Emerging from the black like
a suave but hungry vampire, the Tunnel strides the dark streets and back
alleyways of San Francisco on its second album Fathoms Deep, teeth gnashing, absinthe in one hand and a butcher
knife in the other. Drawing on both the decadent ambience of gothic rock and
the dissonant clash of postpunk, the trio glides like a shark through eight
tales of sex, death and altered states of consciousness, leaving a trail of
blood and glitter behind it.


Led by guitarist Jeff
Wagner’s sleazy moan, the band struts through throbbing groovers “King of the
Impossible” and “Strange Haven” on the first half of the LP, then slithers through
orgasmic grinds “A Storm” and “The Bitter End” on the second. “The
Beast-Catcher,” a grimy tale of monster hunting in the worst parts of town,
shows the band at its most effective, creating an atmosphere of sensual dread
that really highlights Wagner’s decadent charisma.


Like strong bootleg whiskey, Fathoms Deep burns when it goes down,
but provides the warm, satisfied glow of having gotten away with murder.


Beast-Catcher,” “The Bitter End,” “King of the Impossible” MICHAEL TOLAND

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