The tagline on A Tundra’s official website reads, “A Tundra is a band from Chicago that plays rock music.” That may seem intentionally vague, but it couldn’t be more fitting. Yes, A Tundra are from Chicago, and yes, they play rock music -- but the particular kind of rock music they play is so directly inspired by the city’s 1990's indie rock scene that it seems necessary to qualify them as a Chicago band. If you needed any further proof, just check out some of those song titles... “Kurt Nirvonnegut,” “Keep Autism Weird,” “I Phone, Euphone, We All Phone.” They’re practically cribbed from one of the Kinsella brothers’ notebooks. All of this is not to say that A Tundra are entirely derivative of Joan of Arc, et al., but the influence is too obvious to be ignored.
A Tundra played saki the same day as Pillars & Tongues, who asked us to cut the lights to set the mood for their languid, meditative sound. We kept the lights off for A Tundra, but for an entirely different reason. With all the choppy, angular guitar play and stop-start rhythms of their music, I don’t think anyone wanted to be seen trying to dance to it! Ostensibly, A Tundra is not about dancing, or setting the mood. Their lyrics and song titles are clearly meant for a more introspective crowd, but I don’t think they would mind if you danced, too. This is heady music with a sense of humor. It’s supposed to be fun, people! We recommend reading the song titles while you listen. It certainly helps!