credit: Brittany O’Brien
The world’s gone haywire and anxiety for the future wracks us all, but what else is new? That's all the scene-setting you need to know to fall for the sunny ambivalence of P A I N, the latest release from L.A.’s raucous Tennis System.
The characteristically lush, squalling album pans over familiar thematic terrain for the band, delving into the modern, youthful dilemmas of isolation and longing, failure and persistence. But the band’s melodies are newly infused with the sting of recent personal loss.
On the record’s swinging, 60s girl group-tinged single, “Everybody,” guitarist-singer Matty Taylor teases out what might have been the usual dreamy goals for his life before promptly giving up with a sonic shrug. “What I want...” he sings, “Oh, never mind.”
Nowhere is the album stretching into new terrain more than on “Clearer,” a brightly upbeat track that abruptly pivots toward darkness. Its chorus rings in our ears, reminding us that despite the passage of time, the self is inescapable — a curse if ever there was one.
P A I N was released as a Record Store Day exclusive April 21st, 2018 via Graveface Records.
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