Saturday, July 19, 2008


“The muse was with us then.” So says Russell Senior regarding the creation of this track in Mark Sturdy’s Truth and Beauty: The Story of Pulp. “Tunnel” is definitely a unique entry in Pulp’s discography – an eight-minute, pummeling, discordant epic. Driven by Peter Mansell’s driving bass – an instrument rarely given center-stage during this era of the band – “Tunnell” is a harsh rumination of the band’s feelings of dislocation and confusion. Jarvis’ panicked monologue seems to be delivered through a faulty megaphone, distorting and cutting out throughout the song. It sounds like an accurate depiction of some pretty dark minds. And yet, there’s something missing about the song. For all its lack of compromise, it still comes off as an amalgam of other post-punk British bands, mainly Joy Division and The Fall. Plus, the song’s payoff line – “I’ll never ever be clean again” – seems borrowed from The Cure’s “”The Figurehead.” It may be a brutal track, but it still sounds like Jarvis hasn’t found his voice yet, and so it’s not quite essential Pulp.

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