Lyrics can do a lot for a good rock song, but when you’re working with the kind of muscle that a band like Tsunami of Sound are in their new single and music video “Motor Oil,” they’d only get in the way of the group’s mission. For Tsunami of Sound, trying to put emotion into words is a waste of time when thrusting forth with a riff summarizes the mood so much more concisely and precisely, and in “Motor Oil,” you’re not likely to step away from the two minutes of tenacious riffing without understanding exactly how this band feels about rock music.
This riff puts melodicism above most anything else on the table, but never is there a moment in which we can catch the group abandoning the intensity of the tempo. There’s an ebbing to the rhythm when necessary – almost exclusively to prevent the swing of the guitars from overpowering the percussion altogether – but overall there doesn’t appear to be much desire to break from the momentum of the music once Tsunami of Sound get into a good groove. They’re really connected with one another in this performance, and that’s evident even in a cursory listening session with “Motor Oil.”
When they are shifting between tempos, the transition is almost seamless and difficult to notice without slowing down and isolating the different elements in the mix. I honestly don’t know how long Tsunami of Sound spent hammering out all of the little details in preparation of dropping this single recently, but if I had to guess, they definitely weren’t rushing through the production process here at all. If they did, I don’t know how they would be able to put as much of a spotlight on the tonal friction over the rhythmic continuity, both of which become integral components of what makes “Motor Oil” so endearing when all is said and done.
Despite its deceptive title, the way this single was built makes picking out and zeroing-in on every element in the song rather easy if you’re so inclined to study its structure. There’s no muddiness between where the sludge of the bass ends and the tight punch of the guitar begins, and through every beat we can feel the push of the drums without ever feeling assaulted by their presence. These guys poured love into this track, and I think their investment in the material is probably what put it over the top aesthetically (in a good way, of course).
I hadn’t heard of this band before I found “Motor Oil,” but if their sound is going to continue to be comprised of a take-no-prisoners attitude meshed with high-power guitars of the gruffest strain known to contemporary rock, you can sign me up for more right now. Tsunami of Sound have a handle that makes you excited to hear their content if you love big rock music with a brash demeanor, and I must say that in this release, they definitely live up to their name.