Monday, August 24, 2015

Tenement joins the punk opera movement. Kinda. At least their ambition mirrors it.

Photo via Tenement's Facebook page
I heard about Tenement on the New York Times Popcast a few months ago and it took me a while to actually get off my ass and track down the double album they released in July, Predatory Headlights. There seems to be a new onrush of punk rock double albums lately, which means the genre has moved onward to its prog-rock phase, finally! I kid, I kid. Part of punk rock is all about eschewing boundaries, and while Tenement's sound is far closer to early '90s indie, in my mind that makes them more punk rock than 98% of the Warped Tour bill. This trio does things their way and are SO underground that they live just a few hundred miles north of me yet I'd never heard of them. Then again, my house party days are mostly behind me so I guess that's not that unexpected.

Forgive my prattling on.

Anyway, I admire the band's striving to record something so sprawling, and it mostly works. The problem with a double album is that unless you have a really great concept paired with an incredible collection of songs, the thing in its entirety can occasionally be a wearying affair. And some of the experimentalism on Predatory Highlights trends toward the solipsistic. But there's enough killer to offset the filler,* and the track below is one of the best on the LP. (UPDATE: Since this was first written now the whole album was up, so pick and choose what you like!). Give it a spin and if it tickles your fancy plunk down a few bucks for the whole thing.

*I'm totally using this phrase again when I write a review for something else. It's too good to only use once.**

**It's been used a thousand times already, hasn't it? And I'm just foolish enough to think my own brain was special enough to spawn it, right?

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