BRUISED MUSIC, VOLUME 2 LP
Bruised Music, Volume Two is not only a collection of singles, but really a collection of transitional tunes that would form the basis of their present sound and distance them from their early juvenile aesthetic and more simplistic approach to the punk idiom. Eric Mayer joined the group on drums at the onset of this period, and two original members Amos Pitsch and Jesse Ponkamo, on guitar and bass respectfully, continued as the melodic force. Much of the material heard within was recorded at home on 8 track machine and cassette recorders; though a small portion of it was engineered and mixed by Napalm Dream and Predatory Headlights' production mastermind, Justin Perkins. These selections have a distinct sheen and lend a signature quality to the record as a whole.
You'll hear the first inkling of Tenement's interest in the fusion of classical stringed instruments and pop music in "Wouldn't Let You Go", an instrumental piece called "Jet Slug" that sits somewhere between Pavement and Ferrante & Teicher, the chunky blown out punk/pop of "Blast Exhaust" and "Taking Everything" which seem too aggressive to label simply as "pop punk" yet too melodic to label as "hardcore", the acoustic ballad "Your Sway..." with Nick Drake-esque chord patterns. You'll hear the twinkling pianos of "Perverse Universe" and the jangling, sparkling guitars and lush vocal harmonies of "Paper Airplanes", and it will sound so achingly familiar yet so hard to generalize or pin down. This is the very sorcery of Tenement, and on Bruised Music, Volume Two, the spell is stronger than ever.