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Tennis System At Amoeba, Thursday January 15th 2015

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Tennis System

With Tennis System, distortion reigns all over the tracks thanks to a myriad of pedals, turning the soundscapes into a thick and loud monster. Named one of the ‘LA bands to watch in 2015’ by the LA Weekly, the trio played an in-store presented by Amoeba and Converse Rubber Tracks on Thursday night, and they gave one of these killer shows that should come with the obligatory earplugs.

I had seen them before, during a late-evening show in a very dark club, and they had stayed a bit mysterious so it was interesting to see them in plain light, diffusing nevertheless the same amount of fuzz and distortion from start to finish. Their musical style has been compared to many famous bands and it’s certain they have inherited of a bit of these post-punk-noise genes found in bands like Jesus and Mary Chain, Nirvana, Ride to Dinosaur Jr., or My Bloody Valentine, but there is a new mutation there, Tennis System is riding its own trip. However, one thing I have read is that they hate the term ‘shoegaze’, so I am not going to use it here! As a matter of fact, there was nothing shoegazing in the guitar assaults of frontman Matty Taylor, their breezy-noisy – almost beachy at time – anthems were all about these outbursts of energy wanting to kill the fuzz, these explosions of turbulence wanting to pierce the deep fog of noise… I agree, this was definitively not shoegaze, despite a first impression, and, very quickly, they were becoming intense, like a zenith sun at midnight, with a few peaceful moments and some rare moments of bliss, alternating with loudness and truly aggressive riffs. Mixing violence with serenity, burying their vocals deep in the fuzz, they repeatedly made their melodies emerge from the thick musical tempest, which always stayed on the upbeat side of the chaos.

They had gathered a good crowd at Amoeba, and since it was the first show of the year for the famous store, it has to count as a special event. The band has released a second album ‘Technicolour Blindon PaperCup Music a few months ago, but at the show, they were giving away vouchers for a free split 7” of Tennis System and So Many Wizards, for the first 250 people… at the top of this, I even got a free Amoeba-converse tote bag…

Tennis System is originally from Washington D.C., but now that they have settled in LA, these kings of distortion are ready to take over the west coast with their own brand of big-scale poppy-punk-gaze jumping at your face during its most joyous moment. Pop, punk, gaze?… Looking at the bands they have ben touring with (Ty Segall, Wavves, Japandroids, Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Mark Gardner, Beach Fossils) the punk and pop elements are definitively there, but may be you can come up with a better description, because I am not so sure what they are.

More pictures of the show here.

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