Live Review – Tunnelmental Experimental Assembly

Written by on December 9, 2010 in December 9, 2010, Live Reviews - Comments Off on Live Review – Tunnelmental Experimental Assembly

At The Trip In Santa Monica

It’s rare to see English industrial pioneers Tunnelmental Experimental Assembly play a stateside gig, so we saddled up and got over to the Trip in Santa Monica. The venue isn’t much more than a bar with a small stage in the corner, and with the intimate crowd, things must have seemed different for T.E.A. than the ten-thousand seat festival gigs they just played on their recent European tour.

It was also rare to see original guitarist Jeremy Smart on the stage, over on vacation from England. It’s been a long, long time since Smart, who went back to the UK a number of years ago, was onstage with front man Nigel Mitchell. Smart and Mitchell are the sole remaining members of Tunnelmen.

But now they’re Tunnelmental Experimental Assembly, and their sound has changed away from their past industrial tones into something more accessible.

The band played selections from their current album, teatime? The sound is more varied, dipping it’s pen into a number of musical inkpots. Songs like “Streetwise” employ a definite soul feel while “Kiss Man Kind” shows the band returning to their industrial groove roots.

Mitchell handed the venue downsizing well – just weeks before, he was standing in front of thousands of people in his homeland – and played like it his last show. T.E.A. are about commitment to their music, and they don’t let you forget it.