Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Trent Fox & the Tenants - Mess Around EP [Kind Turkey]/Two Tears - Eat People [Kind Turkey]

As promised I'm venturing on through my stack of 7inches. Wisconsin label Kind Turkey sent it's two most recent releases by Trent Fox & the Tenants and Two Tears. That's a lot of Ts.
This Trent Fox & the Tenants record is pure fun. Nothing you haven't heard before most likely but as I said, pure fun, which goes a long way in my ears. The title track is a slightly ska-infused jaunt, which plays it pretty cool with "yeah yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah" backing vocals on the chorus. "Outta My Mind" mines the same 50s/60s pop touchstones that Nobunny has been doing so successfully. The Tenants make a good show of it too. Once again some killer backing vocals on the chorus and just the right amount of jangle is dialed in. "Jokes" has a touch of twang despite being the most jaggedly fierce song on the record. It features a pretty bitchin' bridge too as well as a shuffling breakdown.
The first side is totally solid but the flip garners the most plays on my table. "Old Lady" takes its foot off the gas a little before dropping a tried and true, bombastic minor key chorus. Always a classic (and welcome) move. The rolling bassline is ace, the backup vox are on point once again. It's pretty archetypal but they nail it and considering how many people fuck this kind of thing up, I appreciate when someone does pop right. Cause pop is fuckin' hard. "Sounds Fine to Me" will speak to anyone of you who likes records and liquor. "I sit at home with my records on/I sit at home and play my favorite song/Maybe I'll go to the local bar, the one right down the street/Maybe I'll go to the local bar and see what people I meet" goes one verse. It's a punchy little number that will cut right to the core of anyone who likes to sit on the porch and have a drink. My most spun track for sure.
Cool record, sure to garner plenty of spins by anyone who has a pulse. Although, one word of advice, dudes, drop the "Trent Fox" and just go with The Tenants.
Two Tears is Kerry Davis (formerly of Red Aunts and The Screws) and she delivers three minimal post-punk tunes. The lead-off title-track has a quite a bluesy stomp. Davis writes really sparse, skeletal arrangements. Totally unadorned, no frills but with swagger to spare. "I want a man/With nothing wrong" is her lead-off line and she maintains the assertive tone through the whole record. FYI, she wants a man "who's kinda big and kinda tall" not because of love or lovin' or anything stupid like that. It's because she wants to eat him.
"Heisse Hexe" is a pop-addled brain controlling a a punk body. Despite Davis's snotty sneer and the aggressive guitarwork on the bridge, the track is total ear candy. I dare you to walk away not repeating "Heisse! Hexe! In love" or whatever it is she's singing.
Once again, I think the B-side probably garners the most plays from me. "Senso Unico" slows things way down. There are no collaborators listed for this track so I am gonna guess this is all Davis. There are four elements in the track: tambourine hits, tremolo'd guitar, a synth providing killer counter melodies and Davis's voice which alternately wails on lines like "I hate my life!" and pouts on lines like"Sen-so ooh-nee-co." The track rules. Davis cuts down everything to its bare essentials so each element has something vital to contribute. It's an unlikely number to get stuck in my head but, man, it does. By the way, it sounds killer at 33rpm too (bonus!)
I don't know what you call this kind of stuff. Post-riot grrl or something lame like that? Whatever, it doesn't need a label. It's raw, it's minimal, it's catchy. What other boxes need she check?
This is a nice pair of 7inches from Kind Turkey and considering I'd never heard of either of these artists, props to them for enlightening me. Labels always get big points when they introduce me to someone new. They are both available from Kind Turkey.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Because there's already 2 other "The Tenants" out there. How about The Ten Ants?