It’s great when, in the information age, you have a really hard time finding a record. It takes me back to when I was kid and spent countless hours bothering friends so I could tape their records. Yes, there was a time when you really had to love music in order to get it, unless you were content with greatest hits stuff.
But I digress, and the thing here is that, these days it’s tough to find bands that no one has heard of, or at the very least, have no review online. Sure, by now, Tarantüla have had records on Lengua Armada and Deranged, so they are less than unknown, but still, they were one of the best things of 2017 that no one talked about.
From the raspy voice to the groovy bass and the somewhat premeditated chaos of the songs, these guys rock like punk rocks. Yes, it’s punk. Not rock, not post-something, but punk. Dirty, smiling ironic hands down punk-rock.
Just look at the artwork and the song titles, it’s more than enough to be sure that Tarantüla will crawl right under your skin, and you’ll be humming to “The Computer That Ate My Brain” the next time you update your facebook status to let everyone know how you’re the guy with the best underground skills.
Oh yeah, and there’s an fucking umlaut on their name which means that hey have to be good, since there’s a long history of great bands with umlauts on their names, starting with the one and only Motörhead, and going as far back as Blue Öyster Cult. Then there were Hüsker Dü, and Umlaut, who despite being from Finland and being called Umlaut didn’t use it on their own name, but instead used a lot of curse words on their song titles. So, like Tarantüla itself put it, why the hell wouldn’t they use a umlaut on their name, plus it was a direct wave to their previous band, Cülo, that also had a umlaut on their name.
Most of you might be oblivious to this, but Tarantula was also the name of an somewhat obscure 80s heavy metal band from Portugal. Something that constitutes no problem, probably because these days some of the members work for “pimba” artists, which is sort of the equivalent of a mix of the worst country music with the worst top chart pop songs – and that’s putting it mildly. But also, because according to Drugface, who plays in Tarantüla, they’re solid in his book, since they were one of the few bands named Tarantula that didn’t try to sue them. Well, that and, because according to the modern Tarantüla, both bands sound alike, which might not be entirely true, but the Portuguese band also sings about spiders and some other crazy shit.
But what the hell does it mean to be a punk band in 2018? Drugface is not the kind of guy to say what is and what isn’t what, nor does he think someone else should do it, but is noticeable on his speech that there’s at least a glimpse of anarchistic inspiration on his ideas. But, not alike a lot of punk bands, that’s not something that you can observe in their lyrics, since they write about whatever they want to write about, and that goes from something that might be humorous, interesting or that they just feel it should be talked about. In fact, if there seems to be a sort of constant on their music is singing about consumption of chemicals, like when they refer to Bela Lugosi or Adolf Hitler. But then there’s “The computer that ate my brain” that could be easy be a dystopian song, but it’s more like an ode to cyberpunk and Drugface’s ever growing contempt of living in a purely digital age.
Going through their bandcamp page, it seems some people are offended by Tarantüla’s artwork – done by the band themselves – lyrics and maybe their whole attitude. They were even paid in advance before playing a Minneapolis show out of fear of the crowd rioting. And that wasn’t the first time someone was afraid of that happening. It’s great that, these days, a band is still able to stir up such primal feelings, especially because Drugface is just a sweet guy that sometimes likes to get drunk and watch videos of baby sloths.
Maybe that would be enough for a cult, but like they say: “those who understand will find their way” – since for Tarantüla, the lines between myth and reality are blurred beyond recognition.
Speaking of myths, when I asked Drugface why the hell weren’t they on any of the list of the best bands of 2017, he shoots straight and makes it clear that, like everything else, punk also has a status quo of cooler than thou people that you need to befriend in order to make the cut. He even recalls I.D. Under, that never made any list and still are one of the best bands around Chicago. Maybe that matters, so yes, Tarantüla are from Chicago. The same Chicago that gave birth to Los Crudos, Naked Raygun or Articles Of Faith. But they don’t sound like any of them and I’m just not the kind of lazy guy that writes that a band sounds like a bit of this with a bit of that thrown in, so press play and decide for yourself.
So where will Tarantüla shoot the web next? There will be a third 7’’ out on Deranged Records in April called “The very best of sex and violence.” And then there’s the European tour, and either action figures or breaking up. And then again, why not both? Or like Drugface puts it, “Who cares?” Well I care, and you should too, so let the march of the Tarantüla go on.
European Tour Dates:
Fr. 13.04.2018 Berlin – Nothing Nice To Say Fest
Sa. 14.04.2018 Copenhagen – Ungdomshuset
So. 15.04.2018 Gothenburg – 128a
Mo. 16.04.2018 Oslo – Barrikaden
Di. 17.04.2018 Hudiksvall – tba
Mi. 18.04.2018 Umea – Rockbaren
Do. 19.04.2018 Uppsala – Hijazz Klubb
Fr. 20.04.2018 Stockholm – Gula Villan
Sa. 21.04.2018 Malmö – Enskiftet
So. 22.04.2018 Bremen – Altes Sportamt
Mo. 23.04.2018 Hamburg – Hafenklang
Di. 24.04.2018 Mannheim – Juz
Mi. 25.04.2018 Antwerp – Het Bos
Do. 26.04.2018 Paris – La Comedia
Fr. 27.04.2018 Bordeaux – Növö Local
Sa. 28.04.2018 Lyon – Trokson
So. 29.04.2018 Geneva – tba
Mo. 30.04.2018 Basel – Hirscheneck
Di. 01.05.2018 Munich – Kafe Kult
Mi. 02.05.2018 Budapest – tba
Do. 03.05.2018 Zagreb – Mocvara
Fr. 04.05.2018 Vienna – tba
Sa. 05.05.2018 Leipzig – Atari