Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Tenement - The Blind Wink

There are days where nostalgia grips me so strongly that I'm rendered incapable of doing anything but putting on my favourite albums of yesteryear or just lying on the couch and rewatching early Scrubs episodes. What I listen to really depends on whether or not I want to get out of my fuzzy, sentimental stupor - if I'd rather lie there comatose, I'll spin something like Disintegration, but if I want to smile in teary bliss then I'll put on --. Nothing you idiots, happy music is for faggots.

Okay, not really. But to be perfectly honest, I'm usually overcome with melancholy in these aforementioned 'episodes' I experience, and most of the time my musical therapy matches that mood. This is where Tenement comes in - their second LP The Blind Wink was only released this year, but it feels like I grew up listening to this record. After about three listens, I felt like I already knew the songs and that I had already bonded with them over the years. This isn't because they imitate anybody (though obviously their influences are displayed proudly on their sleeves) nor is it because their music is generic in any kind of way - it's simply because they've perfectly captured the youthful exuberance that the fuzzy pop/punk of the 90s impressed upon an entire generation.

The Blind Wink takes on board a host of previous styles - as Amos from the band states, 'it runs the gamut of fuzz pop like the Swirlies, punk/pop like the Descendents, and more minimalist Big Star styled pop songs'. The overall punk feel to the record is probably the most pronounced aspect, but the incorporation of various indie rock tenets really complements Tenement's sound. Bands like Grandaddy or even Built to Spill are channelled through the music, reinforcing The Blind Wink's even greater grounding in the 90s.

If you're 22 and embittered by your vanishing youth, this album is probably perfect for you. While it makes me feel like a child again, it does it in a way that is far from childish. With mature composition and a mature approach to the genre, The Blind Wink's entire purpose is to recreate the naivity and optimism only someone half my age could have. And believe me, they have succeeded.

The Blind Wink can be streamed from Tenement's bandcamp page.
Cassette version can be bought at Dead Broke Records.
Vinly version will soon be available at Cowabunga Records.
Follow Tenement at their blog.

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