Ten Kens
Namesake


5.0
classic

Review

by Ty USER (11 Reviews)
September 5th, 2012 | 15 replies


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Our innocence fades.

We were all children at one point or the other, unless you happen to be a robot. When childhood is at full swing, everything is beautiful and nothing really hurts. Naivety is taken in stride, and driving a toy car into an artificially constructed sandbox mountain is commonplace. It is rare that a child knows the horrors of the world, horrors like murder, rape, scams, and the global deficit. They slowly slip in and out of consciousness, permitting morning comes every day, as they hold faith that it will. They do not know the world in which we live, and for a time, life is innocent.

Then, that child grows up. Subjected to college, the workforce, taxes, meeting various people with numerous tragic or overly-exaggerated stories, and facing the eventual death of a few friends here and there due to car accidents or possibly drugs, the world is no longer so huge, it is no longer so innocent.

So, all seven billion of us, facing the early dawn each day as we rise for work, question why we are here. Every once in a blue moon, when stuck in traffic on the freeway, we start to grasp the subtle strands that lead to what our little time here may be, or what it should be. We push papers in glass boxes, under luminescent suns. We get pulled out of our cars after a fit of drunkenness, we cry at our bedsides when we know not where to go. Yet, then, we flip on the radio, or turn on the television. An announcer tells us the unemployment rates are improving, though we all know that to be a rather blatant lie. However, somehow, that deep voice over the speakers calms us, soothes us, and we go to bed, only to pursue the exact same thing the next morning.

The reader may be asking themselves how this has to do with Ten Kens' third LP entitled Namesake? Well, simply put, this album's sound is the shedding of innocent ignorance. Transitioning between beautiful, sprawling, guitar work and angelically dark vocals, Namesake is everything that cannot be described. The third album by these Canadians bends genres, obliterating every preconceived notion that stood in their path. Tapestries of colorful instrument work backed by the brooding choir-like vocals of Dan Workman, drenching everything in an ethereal layer of beauty. Seamlessly, this beautiful innocence transforms into an infinite pool of darkness. Yet, the feeling is then layered in a slight coat of peace, churning out a record worthy of encompassing an emergence from childhood.

The true stand out on this release, which has been truly Ten Kens' most masterful aspect to their music, is their absolutely natural transitions. It is quite incredible to feel the emotion and genres included in each and every track ebb and flow as they do, so subtle as to feel nearly subconscious. From the nostalgic feelings of the aptly titled track, 'The Field Around Your Van' to the thick layer of unchanging darkness in 'Gently Used' Ten Kens truly traverse absolute genres. The influences here range from stoner rock to psychedelic, to synth-pop, to indie, and even dark ambiance at times. Often, while listening, I hear glimpses of Kayo Dot and bands of the more avant-garde vein. This LP is beyond description, truly. I refrain from being hyperbolic, it is simply difficult to describe by throwing out any genres or descriptions, for it defies such definitions.

Ten Kens have matured beyond their years. In only three albums, they have reached a pinnacle of music often unattained by many critically acclaimed or long-winded musical endeavors. Their efforts on Namesake are absolutely mind boggling. It has been stated in a couple other reviews of this beautiful monster that this is a thinking man's stoner rock. I suppose I would have to agree with that. The wool has been removed from our eyes, and our childhood's ignorance is fading. We are seeing the world that lay before, what mankind is, and Ten Kens is there, crowding our airspace, reaching their hand around our shoulders all the while. Ten Kens are here to stay.



Recent reviews by this author
Little Kid Logic Songsjohnny_ripper Still Images & Other Dreams
Bull of Heaven 013Cliff Dweller Ghosts of the Dust Bowl
*shels Plains Of The Purple BuffaloBrand New The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me
user ratings (3)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
North0House2
September 5th 2012


5878 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Well, I can safely say this is the AOTY, in my case at least. This is, no joke, absolutely incredible. Granted, I have kept my eye closely on these guys for a year, I never would have expected them to churn out something like this. Beautiful. I hope my review wasn't too lugubrious, or long. I haven't written since school got out. This dropped, and it's too good to ignore, so I wrote this up.

Anyway, you can stream it here:
http://music.aol.ca/new-releases-full-cds/spinner#/28

Digging: Ef - Ceremonies

YankeeDudel
September 5th 2012


9313 Comments


Looks interesting man I love genre benders

Digging: The The - Soul Mining

North0House2
September 5th 2012


5878 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

It is good stuff. I am immensely impressed, especially since they've been one of my favorite acts since their debut like 5 years ago.

FelixCulpa
September 5th 2012


1240 Comments


I remember your other review for this band and I can't remember what I thought of them then. Will
revisit them I guess!

North0House2
September 5th 2012


5878 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Lol, oh right, I reviewed their debut too... Sometimes I feel like I'm the only person that ever pushes for these guys on this site. It really amazes me they don't get more love.

This album's like their older stuff, only absolutely evolved, but you can still hear that nice retro-indie sound here and there. It's on their bandcamp now, since that's easier to stream:

http://tenkens.bandcamp.com/album/namesake

FelixCulpa
September 5th 2012


1240 Comments


Hehe you do have a tendency to review and really enjoy some obscure stuff that never really moves past
more than 10 ratings here on sputnik! Thanks for the link, I'll be sure to give a listen. I like the
album art as well. A lot better than their previous ones.

Edit: Also pos. And you're 3 first paragraphs might be a bit sweeping considering you talk about
collage, jobs and driving on the freeway, all 7 billion don't have that. But of course I get your
point, just a nitpick and you shouldn't feel the need to edit it if you don't want/feel like it.

North0House2
September 5th 2012


5878 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Yeah haha, I take pride in finding random stuff and throwing it out to the community/adding it to the database. I think these guys really deserve to catch on here. They seem to really fit the stylistic preferences of those on Sputnik. Oh agreed, it really fits the atmosphere of the album as well. The album art for their S/T was kinda cool though, in a weird way.

haha thanks man. Yeah, I was realizing that when rereading it, but I hadn't changed it... hoping nobody would notice. Good point lol, I might edit it later today if I feel like it.

North0House2
September 5th 2012


5878 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Awww yeah, they put it on their facebook page. Always makes me happy to see that an artist liked my review for their stuff.

wacknizzle
September 5th 2012


13501 Comments


Good review. I listened to a few songs on this yesterday at AOL, they were pretty interesting. I'm excited to hear the rest.

Digging: This Gift Is A Curse - I, Gvilt Bearer

North0House2
September 5th 2012


5878 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Yeah Silent, and it's good stuff.

Thanks man. They definitely are kinda unique. the album flows incredibly well as a whole.

North0House2
September 5th 2012


5878 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

It is good stuff.

Of course, I am slightly enamored with these guys, since they've been one of my absolute favorite acts since their debut. But this is really good stuff.

North0House2
September 12th 2012


5878 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Yo, this ain't a 2.5...

North0House2
September 27th 2012


5878 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

You guys have missed out on one of the better releases of the year. Hurrah.

illuminatus917
September 29th 2012


35 Comments


You have me sold with this review. Added to the top of my "to listen to" list.

North0House2
September 29th 2012


5878 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Awesome, I am glad I have haha, always nice to hear.
You should definitely give it a go. It's a little more drone-based than their more frantic previous works, but it is so gorgeous.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy