In this week's Homespun column, Christian Schaeffer weighs in on the new release from the Union Electric -- "Tunnels" / "An Irish Orphan." The A-side is, in the bands' description, "Tunnels is based on the story of Chinese immigrants, who came to Mexico for work, and were forced to live literally underground." Listen and read Schaeffer's take on the track below.
The Union Electric will be releasing the 7" this Saturday at a late show at Mangia. Theodore will open -- this one is very much not to be missed...
The Union Electric prefers to release its music in seven-inch spurts -- this two-song sliver of wax is the group's third such release in as many years. There's little doubt that the tireless pen of Tim Rakel has enough songs to fill a full-length or two, but these releases keep a tight focus on the sets of songs. Rakel has long labored in what can be broadly termed "Americana," but the Union Electric gives him his most raucous backing yet. Guitarist Glenn Burleigh (formerly of the Adversary Workers) plays snaking barbed-wire guitar lines over Rakel's rangy acoustic strums, and this mix of punk and country is winked at with a liner note thank-you to both Woody Guthrie and Joe Strummer. The A-side of this seven-inch, "Tunnels," tells of a rumored series of passageways beneath a Gold Rush town where dispossessed people are hidden away and left to create a subterranean culture. Bassist Melinda Cooper gives a harmonic lift to Rakel's stoic vocals, and guest musician Dave Anderson's pedal steel amplifies the song's country undertones.
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