Boomkat Product Review:
Necessary compilation of Tunnelvision’s arch yet overlooked post-punk tunes for Factory, produced by Martin Hannett, mixed by Peter Hook, and including rare demos
Alongside Section 25, Tunnelvision were among the best bands to emerge from Blackpool during the post-punk era. They were signed by Tony Wilson and Rob Gretton after impressing them during a support slot for New Order’s 3rd gig, at Scamps in Blackpool. In 1981 Factory released Tunnelvision’s Martin Hannett-produced debut 7”, ‘Watching The Hydroplanes’, including the gloomy swagger of the title song and the burned-out punk ennui of ‘Morbid Fear’, which were both recorded at London’s legendary Britannia Row Studios and are included on this set - originally an LTM CD comp issued in 2005 - alongside further demo songs that sound very much like Joy Division, recorded at Cargo Studios, Rochdale, and remixed by Peter Hook.
With its revving baseline and cold snares, ‘Glenn Miller’ could easily be mistaken for a JD song, while ‘Old Comrades’ nails a jangly gothic style, and the 1981 piece ‘Emotionless’ also strongly channels the spirit of Ian and co. Recorded the same year, the B-side demos are recorded at Cargo Studios, Rochdale, and remixed by Peter Hook. These songs range from the more aggressive drive and almost psychedelic layers of FX in ‘The Man Who Would Be King’ to the cold death rock depth charge of ‘100 Men’, thru the bittersweet North West grip and drizzly feel of ‘Guessing The Way’, and the windswept promenade shuffle of ‘Whitened Sepulchre.’