From the opening moments to the closing echoes, ‘lovesick’, the new album from Tennis System wants you to know it’s here and it’s not feeling quite right… but that they don’t go down without a fight.
The beauty of the rock music Tennis System produces is that from track to track its raucous gritty purr from the guitar is often hanging on by a thread. Sometimes it’s the whammy bar of the anthem in waiting ‘Turn’. It may be how the opening track feels like it’s chewing itself up between epic riffs. Then with the amazingly destabilising ‘cut’ it’s the vocals that are permanently off tune. Crafted discord is difficult to get right and Tennis System has it to perfection. You can feel the angst and determination in each chord and thrash.
The band also know when to rock and when to hold back. ‘Rotting Out’ and the title track balance thick bass lines and sympathetic guitar noise over rolling drums to be both anthemic and reflective. ‘Fall’ is recorded almost like an echo from the next room. It’s spooky ambience shows is a short palette cleanser but a welcome mix up.
Tennis System also subscribe to the Placebo overgizzle electric guitar as I call it. You can hear the grizzly electric pulses of the instrument in your ears and it makes darker slower tracks like ‘Come Undone’ and ‘Cologne’ really stand out.
Frankly ‘lovesick’ blew me away. From start to end I feel like Tennis Systems heart and soul were smeared across my speakers. You can tell it is their third album and that they are gelled together instead of wanting to pull in different directions. Its a cohesive boulder of side-eyes, eyerolls and fuck offs without directly saying it. Unapologetically defiant yet weary, this should be the sleeper hit rock album of 2019. Superb.
Recommended track: Turn
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