Music, like all art, is about the way one perceives the world. This leads to, among other things, meditations on truth and reality. Still, it’s rare to find an act that is sonically honest. (Is that the most pretentious phrase ever written? Possibly!) Winnipeg trio-now-duo Tunic is such a band, whose caustic earnestness is not only heard in singer/guitarist David Schellenberg’s passionate howls, but in the fibers of each song’s being. Drummer Dan Unger and former bassist Rory Ellis round out the other essential elements on new album Quitter, where Tunic is shedding skin and emerging stronger, smarter and – in the spirit of honesty – better than they’ve ever been.

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Opening with the one-two punch of “Apprehension” and “Quitter” – the title track directly referencing band co-founder Ellis exiting the band after recording the album – Tunic make quick work reminding listeners of the shoulders they stand on: Fugazi, Jesus Lizard, Big Black, et cetera. They deftly maneuver into a signature but familiar sound, with Ellis’ overdriven bass and Schellenberg's go-for-broke punk playing style matched to Unger's impassioned drumming. Like the best of their contemporaries in KEN Mode, Whores., and Bummer, everything sounds like it’s teetering on the edge of collapse; that "controlled chaos" vibe is an integral part of the aforementioned sincerity in that Tunic deals. As listeners, we trust that what is ostensibly disjointed anarchy will come together and, well, slap. And if Quitter does anything, it slaps.

Listening to Ellis' monster tones and riffs on "Fake Interest" and "You're A Bug," it’s hard to imagine Tunic without him. However, the band was born from adversity; Schellenberg started it after being told he wasn’t good enough to play in a previous group. Quitter is already leaps and bounds ahead of their previous work, so as the rest of the world emerges from a period where sometimes quitting was the only option, Tunic is ahead of the curve and turning it into art.

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Quitter releases October 15th on Artoffact Records.