Tenement
Predatory Headlights


3.7
great

Review

by Tristan Jones STAFF
June 5th, 2015 | 140 replies


Release Date: 06/02/2015 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Pup ponk for every girl and boy.

Predatory Headlights, the latest from Wisconsin-based punk trio Tenement, is more rewarding than meets the eye. Often described as channeling Ergs-y pop punk through a fuzzy, '90s indie rock lens, Tenement now present a sprawling double album true to form, yet with surprising experimental elements. It’s like a series of second thoughts, with seemingly irrelevant moments deserving reexamination as the songs fold over. Eerie, piano-driven opener “Theme of the Cuckoo” is quickly shrugged off by “Crop Circle Nation” with chunky guitars and frontman Amos Pitsch’s declaration: “we belong somewhere else/belong somewhere else/belong somewhere else.” This line, negligible at the time, is important. It binds Predatory Headlights, despite the sonic diversity and skewed progression, and doesn’t see fruition until the end credits roll.

The first third of Predatory Headlights is fast-paced, presenting fun, rowdy flashbacks laced with countless highlights (the thick, crunchy guitar in “The Shriveled Finger” jumps to mind). Amos’ mature-ish lyrical approach is relatable, sure to connect with those who faded into adulthood embracing the snotty preachings of Milo Aukerman alongside the earnestness of Paul Westerberg. Early standout “Dull Joy” juxtaposes carefree vocal hooks with sarcastic, disappointed lyrics: “now is the time/to find your place in line/dull joy/for every girl and boy.” From then on, to equally infectious “Under the Storm Clouds”, there is no respite, making Predatory Headlights fairly front-loaded in terms of sheer power. “Ants + Flies” comes not a moment too soon, and is pivotal. Piano hangs in the air amidst chimes and nature sounds, sobering and poignant, long after Pitsch’s damning words. The aura is spontaneous, with a hold-on-guys-I-just-gotta-do-this quality. Some things take precedence.

There’s something to be said for Tenement’s wandering nature, namely the vast soul-searching blended in with punk, jangle pop-inspired guitars, power pop, and grimy, string-fueled boogie rhythms. Nine-and-a-half minute “A Frightening Place for Normal People” comes out of left field, featuring hypnotic wind chimes in the midst of the haunting shuffle of an upright bass. Though chilling at times, the track is unconventionally playful, and an interesting subplot leading into the self-reflective “Licking a Wound”. Predatory Headlights steps off of the beaten path occasionally, more so in the latter half, testing the waters and affirming oneself despite the trials and tribulations of love and loss. (One line of “Cold the Pavement Is” still resonates: “I will never let myself hurt/like you hurt.”) Bringing everything full circle is the uneasy, appropriately-titled closer, “Afraid of the Unknown”. As Amos sings, “do you need/me around/me around anymore,” he supplants the aforementioned lyrics from “Crop Circle Nation” (“we belong somewhere else”). As he repeatedly asks whether or not he is indeed needed, there is a sense of feigned indifference. He isn’t really ready to leave.

In a way, Predatory Headlights feels like an era-defining anthem, despite being hot off the press. As it progresses clumsily, it reflects a growing process, segueing from apprehension to youthful pissed-offness, to requited love, to the realization of still knowing so little despite the journey. Plus it fucking rocks, so, there’s that.



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user ratings (40)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
JohnnyOnTheSpot
Staff Reviewer
June 4th 2015


6676 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

https://tenement.bandcamp.com/album/predatory-headlights

summary is based on foxxxy's joke about how they don't like being called "pop punk" or whatever - I'm no good at summaries ;[



SowingSeason
Moderator
June 4th 2015


28370 Comments


Awesome review. Any bands you'd compare this to?

Also:

featuring hypnotic wind chimes in the midst the haunting shuffle
I think you mean "amidst" or "in the midst of", because what you have just reads weird.

Digging: Julia Holter - Aviary

JohnnyOnTheSpot
Staff Reviewer
June 4th 2015


6676 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

oh yea missing an "of," nice catch



and i mean they get compared to Dinosaur Jr, The Replacements and Hüsker Dü a fair bit, definitely some nostalgic vibes here. someone like Hep or whoever would probably have a long list of more comparable recent artists

SharkTooth
June 4th 2015


13854 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"summary is based on foxxxy's joke about how they don't like being called "pop punk" or whatever - I'm no good at summaries ;["



here's an idea:

"An excellent blend of power-pop, punk, and jangle pop, just please don't call it pop-punk"

JohnnyOnTheSpot
Staff Reviewer
June 4th 2015


6676 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

mmm idk. I'll just leave it pencilled in

mryrtmrnfoxxxy
June 4th 2015


14983 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

fuckyea

PappyMason
June 4th 2015


5702 Comments


Very nice.

This sounds pretty interesting, need to check.

mryrtmrnfoxxxy
June 4th 2015


14983 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Review rules needs a feature

YakNips
June 4th 2015


19362 Comments


i love pup ponk

ComeToDaddy
June 4th 2015


1774 Comments


Nice review man, been reading lots of great things about this.

Digging: Ojne - Prima Che Tutto Bruci

SharkTooth
June 4th 2015


13854 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"mmm idk. I'll just leave it pencilled in"



just wanted to help(:

WeepingBanana
June 4th 2015


10486 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this has been treating me nice so far

DrJohn
June 4th 2015


1041 Comments


Sum is fine leave it

RadioSuicide
June 5th 2015


793 Comments


holy fuck yes i need to hear this

TheSpirit
Contributing Reviewer
June 5th 2015


24358 Comments


There’s something to be said for Tenement’s wandering nature, namely the vast soul-searching coinciding with competent blends of punk, jangle pop-inspired guitars, power pop, and grimy, string-fueled boogie rhythms.



SOLD!

mryrtmrnfoxxxy
June 5th 2015


14983 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

seriously so happy with this album

TheSpirit
Contributing Reviewer
June 5th 2015


24358 Comments


foxxxy would i like this

CocaineCrayons
June 5th 2015


156 Comments


Haven't heard this band yet. Will give this a listen

mryrtmrnfoxxxy
June 5th 2015


14983 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

no idea why you wouldn't spirit

Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
June 5th 2015


40725 Comments

Album Rating: 4.7

where is this streamin/leakin at



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