Appleton, Wisconsin’s TENEMENT have teamed with Stereogum magazine to stream another track from their upcoming collection LP, Bruised Music Volume One, due out March 10th in a joint release from Grave Mistake Records and Toxic Pop Records. “Morning Mouth” is a shining example of the amalgam of hooks and edge that TENEMENT excel at, with Stereogum calling it “a spiraling two and a half minutes of theatrical frustration that dangles from the line, ‘All I know is the world keeps turning, but I just keep falling down.'” TENEMENT is also embarking on their run of tour dates with Priests and Vacation today. The tour includes several dates with SCREAMING FEMALES.
Bruised Music Volume One delves into TENEMENT‘s deep and impressive catalogue to compile ten rare or out-of-print tracks from seven of the band’s earliest tapes, EPs, and split singles. Bruised Music Volume One‘s tracks have all been re-mastered and feature vastly improved sound quality than their original releases. The collection will also include an eight page zine with liner notes and anecdotes from the band, their friends (including members of Screaming Females, Sundials, Coke Bust, and Nervosas), and journalists who championed the band during their inception. Bruised Music Volume One isn’t just for the super-fan looking for a peek into TENEMENT‘s early years and the honing of their razor sharp song-craft, it also offers new listeners a great introduction to the band’s perfect blend of raw punk energy and undeniable pop hooks.
TENEMENT mopped the floor with conventional showmanship the second they walked in the door. With their eyes closed and their heads tilted toward the heavens, they’ve been known to stand still in the spotlight and let their glorious noise ring out, naked and uninhibited. This isn’t a hateful noise, but it is a sincere one that if received by a perceptive audience, can tug at the gut and induce a primal shiver from the mind to the heart. Perhaps this honesty can be attributed to their Midwestern stereotype, or perhaps they are in fact true outsiders among their Rock and Roll peers. No matter which, the curiosity that is TENEMENT began in 2006 with a series of loose demo recordings and singles that married the genres of “Pop” and “Punk” without being explicitly “Pop Punk” and to many, represented the power and urgency of Hardcore without actually conforming to the genre itself. These recordings have been compiled here by Grave Mistake Records and Toxic Pop Records for their new collection LP, Bruised Music Volume One, which covers TENEMENT‘s output on record between the years 2006 to 2009.
During this early period, the group consisted of Amos Pitsch on guitar and vocals, Jesse Ponkamo on bass guitar, and a short-lived drummer, which in the wake of current drummer Eric Mayer, remains a shadowy figure. This is due mostly to a violent and bloody tantrum which left said drummer relieved of its duties and coldly disowned by the rest of the group. Most of the material on Bruised Music was recorded at a university studio in Oshkosh, Wisconsin by long time friend and schoolmate Tyler Ditter, who also doubled as lead guitarist on a handful of tracks. Justin Perkins recorded the rest. A lauded engineer and producer in his own right, he also recorded TENEMENT‘s 2011 LP, Napalm Dream among many other critically acclaimed records within the realm of punk and indie rock.
The influence of 80’s punk is strong in the bulk of the material on Bruised Music, likening the feeling of The Descendents or The Replacements. However, this comparison might seem lazy when you keep in mind that the members of TENEMENT had long schooled themselves on everything from The Beatles to Big Star, Sun Ra, Coltrane, Black Flag, Husker Du. Obscure hardcore punk to Brill Building pop music and all points in between. The period of time represented in this collection is a period of growing pains that paved the way for them to become the band that they are today, and the band that they will be many years from now. It’s the birth of a strong creative force; the musicians together learning to crawl, and the great American outsider pop group taking its first steps. Grace and elegance go out the window on this one. It’s clumsy and ugly at times. Its breath stinks and its pimples show. It talks loudly in a quiet room. It speaks its mind and spares no sensitivity. It’s TENEMENT‘s Bruised Music.
2/23 Columbus, OH @ Ace of Cups *
2/24 Ithaca, NY @ Community School of Music and Arts *
2/25 Hoboken, NJ Stevens Institute of Technology *
2/26 Allston, MA @ Great Scott #
2/27 Philadelphia, PA @ First Unitarian Church #
2/28 Brooklyn, NY @ Knitting Factory (early and late shows) #
3/01 Washington DC @ The Dance Institute of Washington *
3/02 Durham, NC @ Pinhook *
3/03 Atlanta, GA @ 529 Bar *
3/04 Nashville, TN @ The East Room *
3/05 Cincinnati, OH @ Frankl Church *
3/21 Milwaukee, WI @ Cocoon Room5/13 Hortonville, WI @ Standard Projects
6/05 Calgary, Alberta @ Garbage Daze III Festival
* w/ Priests, Vacation
# w/ Screaming Females, Priests, Vacation