Tuesday, July 10, 2012

TENEMENT - Tape - 2009

    The one and only time I ever played a show in Appleton, WI, my band showed up to the house to find some half drunk punks that had little interest in talking to us (even though we were standing in their living room looking confused and trying to introduce ourselves) and an overturned oven range with bloody handprints on it. I asked, "What's up with the stove?" and the punks turned silently to walk out on the porch and ignore us some more. My bandmates dealt with the situation by leaving to find food. I dealt with it by buying a lot of beer and trying to befriend the drunk punks unsuccessfully. Eventually, I struck up a conversation (finally!) with the one and only sober person there; a young punk drinking soda and wearing a BOLD hoodie. He made fun of me for getting drunk. I made fun of him for drinking a three liter of soda. We hit it off pretty well. He revealed that the bloody overturned oven and the broken windows around the house were caused by the ex-drummer of his band. Apparently, they woke him up a few days earlier to leave for tour. Unbeknownst to the rest of his band, he was still drunk and possibly blacked out from the previous night's festivities. The whole band got in the van, started the engine and as they were about to leave, the drummer jumped out. He ran inside the house, started fighting the oven and breaking out windows with his fists. Then, he passed out wasted in a bloody heap...or something like that....my beer started working by this time in the conversation. The young straight-edge punk's name was Jesse and he said that his band's name was TENEMENT. Even though he told me this story about their wasted drummer, some part of my brain categorized them in my mind as a sXe hardcore band, probably because of Jesse's BOLD hoodie and his overbearing straight-edgeness, which for the record, I found endearing and entertaining. Jesse was the only local I hung out with all night, even after we tried to talk to the first band about their rampant misogyny  and after I busted my head open on my bass and blood was trickling down my face as we played.
   It wasn't until I got this tape in the mail that I ever even heard TENEMENT. I was completely surprised and delighted to hear their take on the long tradition of Midwestern punk that was laid out for them so many years ago by the likes of HUSKER DU, THE REPLACEMENTS and many others, but they added a BLACK FLAG-like intensity to it. Their songs take some unexpected twists and turns (in the present more so than on this tape), but retain some insane pop sensibilities. The last time I saw them play a show, they were the most energetic band I had seen in months. They played a short, sweet set of killer songs interspersed with noisy, between song feedback improv that gave me a feeling that was close (but not the same) to seeing HICKEY for the first time. It was great.
   This tape collects seven early ragers that found their way onto their early EP's as well as a cover of the SS DECONTROL song, "Glue", which may be unreleased...I'm not sure. I don't have a lot of their records...just piles and piles of unlabeled tapes. Turn it up loud and kill an oven.

TENEMENT is touring the US in Aug/Sept. You can find the dates at http://temement.blogspot.com/


David McG said...

was this show in appleton at the bfg house? did you see Beerneck? you'd know who that was if he was there, what with the plastic grocery bag full of cans of beer hanging from around his neck and all. amos tackled this totally naked dude after he threw his nasty socks at amos. so amos put the socks in his mouth and sprinted at and tackled him at the end of tenement's set. they were having fun though. and i tried to talk to this kid about his rampant homophobia! something weird is going on in appleton, wisconsin.

Harvester said...

Yes, the show was at BFG, but I did not see Beerneck as far as I know. Appleton is weird. I also met a guy who helped to put out the first Jon Wayne LP, "Texas Funeral"...look that shit up.

keeferooni said...

This is great.

stupidwerld said...

Do you have any of those tapes for sale? Thanks for the download!

Harvester said...

Nope. Sorry. You can try contacting the band though for other tapes. Use the link above.