Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Ten Kens: Ten Kens (FatCat)
release: September 23, 2008
style: reverbed avante rock
similar: Elbow, TV on the Radio, Black Mountain
[rating: ***1/2] The previous Ten Kens record took a year to record. On this one they spent two weeks, albeit all day and night. Before burning out, the Toronto band was able to mount an album loaded with loneliness and sorrow. The band's earlier available track, "Y'all Come Back Now," was quietly lilting, so most of Ten Kens is an eye-opener. "Bear Fight" and "Spanish Fly," for example, are louder on guitars and percussion, though the vocals remain skeletal in the mix. Actually, "Spanish Fly" borders on early Nirvana. On some of the later tracks, the band is heard at its most complex and focused, resulting in some of the best dreariness this year. -Kenyon

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