Tenement - Compilation [cassette] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Compilation [cassette] (2009)


Sprightly Wisconsin pop-punk act Tenement pulls songs from their out-of-print 7" and demo releases for this cassette compilation. Is it the most ideal format for something that's supposed to conveniently compile tracks all into one place? Well, probably not. Do they give you lots of handy information in those tiny cassette liner notes about the songs, at least? Well, no. But there's a track listing at least, right? ...Well, I got one from the band on a slip of paper. You may want to request one too if you decide to pick this up.

The band's fetish for vintage photography instead makes up the entirety of these liner notes. And it says their band name on the spine. That's pretty much all you get.

I can tell you at least that the third track is "The Best and Worst of Times," since I first heard it on their split with Friendly Fires. Others, reading the track listing, seem to come from a split with Used Kids, their Icepick 7", and maybe one other thing.

At the very least, this mildly confusing and obscure release has a good small batch of solid pop-punk jams. I previously described them as reminding one "a little of the Measure [SA] when male-led and a little more mid-tempo, only with a crunchier Dinosaur Jr. feel...layered vocals and a rugged delivery." That kinda holds true for this quick comp, except there are multiple vocalists sharing the lead role, and there's a sort of high-energy-but-moderately-paced romp that elevates the band through the tracks. One of the later songs has a slower, more Americana-tinged feel and it definitely causes it to be a standout.

There's also a pretty random cover of SS Decontrol's "Glue" at the end, and it's admittedly pretty awesome. But since I put more stock in my melodic hardcore knowledge than that of hardline 80s straight-edge, I think of this more as a CIV song. Oh well.

Closing out this compilation and stretching it to probably about a half-hour is a 10-minute-long or so audio documentary about the hardships of "the hill people," some seriously rural folk who live in mountains without any real road system surrounding it. Where do they get this shit?

Not a bad little release, even given the circumstances and full package here.

Sitcom Moms