February 22, 2012

Tennis - "Petition"

One of the great strengths of Denver band Tennis is the group's consistency. Every song on Cape Dory and new LP Young & Old are executed with equal amounts professionalism, guitar fuzz, and sweet husky vocal melodies courtesy of Felicity-haired bandleader Alaina Moore. Tennis absolutely excels in its brand of re-imagined 50s and 60s pop: it's clever, catchy, and fun as hell. However, the band never really strays from that formula. Within Tennis's consistency also lies their greatest weakness: all of their songs sound incredibly similar, almost like variations on the same theme. And that's precisely why I can't stop listening to Young & Old's "Petition"—though the instrumentation is largely in the same vein, the song feels like a fresh turn. Moore's vocal chops are easily Tennis's greatest asset, and on "Petition" you can really hear her push herself and let loose. There's a bit of a 90s R&B vibe to the song's chorus, and instead of fitting into the band's usual cute indie aesthetic, Moore comes off as a seriously tough and commanding cat. There's a deeper more soulful resonance and rasp to her voice on and that lends the song an intoxicating sense of release: instead of sounding hip or cool, Tennis sounds downright emotional and mixed up. Personally, raw and mixed up wins out over straight-laced cool every time.

Tennis - "Petition" (from Young & Old)

Young & Old - Tennis

No comments:

Post a Comment