Tusks, Total Entertainment
Tusks’ debut full-length was almost never realized; leading man Samir Khan was plagued by writer’s block and (by the sounds of it) he was just tired of the music business. Thankfully, the experience of creating music with a group of friends trumps all that bullshit. The end result is, Total Entertainment; an incredibly intense listen that excels at capturing the exact feeling of Khan’s wordplay.
Opening track, “Little Pirouettes” captures that dizzying experience of pouring your heart out on stage with intense guitar buildups as Khan shutters, “It’s all about you and how you’re gonna cope/with the coming of the breathless air/and how you will survive on those lonelier stages…. and if you do it right, watch worried become weary/the repertoire’s compete, but somehow there’s no spark”. Follow-up track, “Oceans” is more upbeat with shimmering piano plucks, doo-wop backups and a great story about building a commonplace lifestyle.
Check out the track “Family Arms” below – it is the perfect example of how dynamic Tusks are; the band perfectly melds all their elements into this 4-minute epic, drummer Steven McKay especially kills with some really inventive timekeeping. “New to Old Money” brought back memories of the 90’s alt rock-ballad and that is not a backhanded comment – I love that style of music and Khan has written a gem here.
At only 8 tracks, Total Entertainment flies by, but it is a record that will resonate with you. It is a mature alternative record that is well-thought out, layered in sounds, and Khan’s stream of consciousness lyrical style opens up to new emotions with every listen. (Independent) ~ 4/5 Stars