There’s something familiar going on throughout Tender Thrill‘s debut LP. “All Night,” the record’s ballsy 10-minute opener, lifts the crunchy riff and rock-classicist rhyme scheme from Bruce Springsteen‘s “Ramrod.” “Geena” has to be a Ramones pastiche. “In Black” borrows from Elvis. “The Last Mile” could be Patsy Cline, but slowed to sludge. Where War on Drugs and Kurt Vile extract a kind of primal DNA from a nonspecific place in rock ‘n’ roll’s early history, this Arlington/Baltimore trio seems more interested in rock ‘n’ roll as sideways appropriation art: Often, the trio will tease your ear with a familiar riff, but confound your expectations once the vocals come in.
So you could totally treat the LP, out today on vinyl on Cricket Cemetery Records, as a sort of scavenger hunt for rock references, or even as a Big Statement on originality in a genre wherein everything is a variation of a variation of some old blues trope. Or you could just turn your brain off—-because it’s loud, melancholy but not exactly nostalgic, and, yeah, it rocks.
Tender Thrill has a vinyl run of just 300 copies; the group also did a split 7-inch with Zulu Pealrs on Disco-Lite Records. Tender Thrill plays with More Humans and The Danvilles Friday at Comet Ping Pong.
Here’s the stream: