Tuuli: Rockstar Potential

Tuuli: Rockstar Potential

Label: Sympathy for the Record Industry
Release Date: 2000
Review Date: 2001

Tuuli, I don’t know what it means, although I do have a vague recollection of some ancient goddess of something or other with a similar spelling. If they are related, it’s in name only. These girls have the look of everything that “Josie and the Pussycats” tried too hard to pull off. Musically, it’s straight forward bubblegum punk right down to the watered down version of the Vibrators’ “Baby Baby.” It’s always fun to hear that song played live, but they bring no originality or enthusiam to it on stage or on the cd. “Sunshine” is the probably the strongest track on the cd. The melody is catchy and the breathy delivery lends the song a kind of qualude appeal. The rest of the tracks fall short. Songs like “Tough Guys” (pretty much about what you think it’s about) and Cinema have the strongest “attitude” and grrrl power potential but they never quite deliver. The vibe of Tuuli seems to be pre-packaged right down to the title Rockstar Potential. It’s almost as if your watching to or listening to a commercial aimed at a slightly older “Delias” or “Alloy” crowd. The make-up credits on the cd get higher billing than the music and lyric rights. The design and album photography just serve to reinforce the cliche as does the web site, where you can learn about each of the girl’s favrite movies (Heathers and Jawbreaker!), person (Patricia Arquette and Cameron Diaz!), bands (Garbage and the Cure!). OK, to be fair, not all the answers are so People Magazine. There’s also bands like the Buzzcocks and the New York Dolls, as well as movies like “Welcome to the Dollhouse”, which you must see. The web site has tons of pictures, touring info, and links to fan sites and bands that they like.

Lest you get the wrong idea, I don’t think Tuuli are record company puppets. They seem to enjoy what they are doing. They seem to make it to Portland often enough. I know Canada isn’t that far away, but it does show some level of commitment. Tuuli has latched on to an easily accessible look and sound without bringing a lot of enthusiasm or originality. If you’ve got to stand through some bland poppy music, you might as well be able to look at a bunch of cute neo-new wave girls in the process. The (non-threatening) changing line up is personable and friendly after the shows. It’s like punk-lite or rated G for all ages. bring your little brothers and sisters, or your mom. Even the CD title is cutesy. “Rockstar Potential,” as in “I’m so proud of my niece’s band. They’re all so cute and they’ve got rockstar potential.” One last beef with the CD. It’s got three “bonus tracks” that add up to 11 minutes and 28 seconds of music for dogs only. That’s silence for us humans. It may be a manufacturing mistake, but it’s really annoying.

Online Action: sympathyrecords.com
Online Action: Tuuli surf.to/tuuli

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