Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Tenement on Toxic Pop Records

This one came in from Amos, a member of Tenement, a punky Wisconsin three piece with a full length behind them already and this single from Toxic Pop Records.

The A-Side track, "Taking Everything" is a punchy, blasting pop punk sound with a bratty punk vocal, feeling a lot like the huge catchy power chord sound of something like the Promise Ring, complete with backup harmonies. Singing as hard as the mic's will take, taking jabs at swinging guitars. Stop for the distortions to drop out for a minute and it's just a verse and drums, that tension launching back to the chorus of "Taking everything the wrong way!", with an organ (or synthy electric) melody line over the layers. I've been there buddy, you try to explain, but it just makes it worse.
The next one, "Paper Airplanes" really takes things down to a slow picked electric slow dance mood with a heavy distanced echo effect on vocals. This one is clearly positioned to be a sadtown tearjerker, it's what happens when all the energy is turned inward and you get that emo introspection...but it's definitely tempered by the medical oddities textbook imagery on this single...well, that description makes it sound ok...one guy is missing his entire lower jaw and mouth, even in black and white, on the reverse of the insert... it's disturbing. Is he going to appreciate being taken on this serious ride? Maybe he can... for a minute... forget about his problems. Or this will be the last thing he ever hears. Yikes. I did think this was going to be heavy doom metal, so when it's optimistic power pop like this, it throws me for a minute.
The B-Side with "Daylight World" then goes in an entirely different direction sort of power alt-country with a line dance rhythm, tinny acoustic guitars turn to power chords and alternating big riff harmonies. Big reverby solo makes this really feel like things are going to be ok, until it turns into and a long backwards song hidden track that makes me think the sleeve art wasn't a mistake. They're not letting you off easy with 4 tracks of cohesive material, it's a one band gymnastic mix tape. Here's the giant obstacle course and what we can do with it.

Check out their bandcamp page and get it direct from the band or on Toxic Pop Records.

Four brand new songs from your new favorite band. We're super stoked to get to bring you this EP. If you're unfamiliar, think a modern take on Sugar, the Replacements, Mudhoney, and later Husker Du. 100 on clear vinyl. First come, first served.

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