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Ten Kens - Namesake

kilgoretrout   (50 reviews)

Posted: 09/01/2012 | Comments: 0 | Rate:

Toronto’s Ten Kens seems, at first glance, to be suffering from a bit of an identity crisis. I saw the band’s sound described as “the thinking man’s stoner rock”, but there’s a lot more there than reverb and riffs and spliffs. I’m pretty proud of that rhyme, just so you’re completely aware. Namesake is the band’s third full length album, and they don’t seem any closer to deciding a definitive genre, but I, for one, am “A-OK” with that indecision.

Stating that this band has shared the stage with bands such as No Age, Deerhoof, and Surfer Blood might bring you a bit closer to grasping what exactly this band sounds like. However, if I throw in the tidbit that they have songs that range from 80’s synth goth (Gently Used) to songs that sound like Slint’s slightly more modern nephew (Fetal Misgivings) to straight up sludge (German Purity), you’re probably going to be one confused motherfucker.

What Ten Kens does like no other band I’ve ever heard is make these transitions seamless. In just ten songs, they manage to genre bend, and make each genre sound as good as they’ve sounded before. These songs change from goddamn beautiful to punishing in the blink of an eye, title track Namesake being a prime example. The song starts off with some minor picking and singing reminiscent of a mix between Fleet Foxes’ Robin Peckhold and Sunny Day Real Estate’s Jeremy Enigk , and soon transforms to a riffy, full blooded jammer.

There’s every chance Ten Kens is going to hit it huge with Namesake. There’s something for everyone to love on this album, and they play it all damn near flawlessly. Namesake is out September 4th on Fatcat records, and I highly recommend giving this infectious record a listen.

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