Everything about “Tunnel of Love,” the new one-off single from King of Summer, sounds like a band fully hitting their stride. The songwriting is sharper, the guitars louder, the hooks more anthemic and penetrating. Yeah, the lyrics can come off as a tad silly, what with their references to sharing DiGiorno pizza and the childhood glories of Christmas morning, but they’re delivered so earnestly and amidst such an an effusive blast of exhilarating Weezer-esque rawk, that you easily buy into the band’s amusing take on crunchy power pop. Besides, it’s not as if nobody has ever masked their feelings in humor before, and while “Tunnel of Love” may breeze by on a wave of driving riffs and goofy one-liners, it would be a mistake to discount the level of sincerity behind the song.
“I’ve always enjoyed writing ‘silly’ or tongue-in-cheek lyrics because those are the kinds of lyrics I’ve always tended to gravitate to in songs,” says guitarist and vocalist Tim Sterritt. “We obviously like to keep a sense of humor about our band, but I wrote this song specifically about a very serious kind of love that I felt for someone at one point in time.”
Regardless of the group’s approach, however, it’s hard to deny King of Summer sound tighter and more confident as a unit, as the band continues to carve a refreshing niche in a genre that often feels old and stale. And let’s not act like “Tunnel of Love” isn’t a welcome shot of adrenalized fun on a plastic holiday that ruthlessly commercializes one of our core human emotions. King of Summer may come off as a quartet of laid-back slackers, but that doesn’t mean they don’t understand the power of a little marketing.
“We knew we wanted the release to come out in early February so we held off a little to purposely put it out on Valentine’s Day since it fit the theme so well,” Sterritt admits. “Hopefully somebody makes out with somebody while listening to this song today.”