Posted by: on October 15, 2008 at 10:00 am

Ten Kens, Ten Kens (Fatcat, 2008)

MP3: “Refined”

Despite how awesome it would be if the band Ten Kens was comprised of ten men named Ken, it isn’t. But these four guys from Toronto do manage to create the sound of ten guys. Like Broken Social Scene meets Shudder To Think, their debut album is sonic layer over sonic layer of dramatic, fuzzed out guitar-centered indie anthems. Formed five years ago by founding members and songwriters Dean Tzenos (guitar) and Dan Workman (vocals), Ten Kens cycled through various rhythm section folk before finding Lee Stringle (bass) and Ryan Roantree (drums). The album lends itself well to a game of “Name That Influence” (various tracks make hard nods to Slint, Sonic Youth, Shellac, Black Sabbath and assorted early 90s Sub Pop favorites) but still manages to bring enough new stuff to the table to avoid being derivative. Tracks like “The Alternate Biker” and “Worthless & Oversimplified Ideas” show Ten Kens have a knack for going from melodic jangle to full guitar onslaught and back without losing the coherency and melodic drive that propels the whole show. Echoing the underlying economic sentiment of our times, the album closes with a dark, down tempo track called, “I Really Hope You Get To Retire” in which Workman sings, “You’ll pass this on to me some say, afford to save some day.” Whether he’s cursing Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson or just stating the obvious to his many indie-predecessors, Ten Kens should sleep tight, because they’re clearly making wise investments. — Laura Witkowski

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Posted by: on June 26, 2008 at 3:00 pm


People tend to sometimes have the opinion that “nothing is going on in Detroit.” This, of course, is wrong. Remember Rock City? Yeah…that was fun. Anyway, here’s a couple of worthy, Detroit-centric news bits that we found while poking around the Internets.

Stereogum has posted an interview with Pas/Cal‘s Casmier Pascal, talking about a new song from their upcoming album that we already reviewed called “Glorious Ballad of the Ignored.” It’s about nerds getting beat up.

Pitchfork has a little blurb up about Comerica Cityfest — the one where the Zombies, Broken Social Scene, and a bunch of great locals, ranging from the Dead Bodies to Zoos of Berlin are playing; the one where you can eat fish ‘n chips for 11 dollars, er, we mean, eight tickets.

Webvomit points out that there is a benefit show for Slow’s BBQ employee Nancy Naperala — who, sadly, suffered a stroke a few weeks ago — happening TONIGHT at the Bohemian National Home, featuring Magic Shop, Dark Red, Shadiamond La Freedom, Sweet Bird, and the Readies. Doors are at 9:00 pm, and it’s a mere 10 bucks to get in.

– Ryan Allen

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Posted by: on June 5, 2008 at 3:00 pm


>>> Deerhoof are poised to do big things in 2008. Remember when we told you their new album was to come out sometime in October? Now it’s got a name (Offend Maggie), a release date (October 7, via Kill Rock Stars), and will come jam-packed with 14 songs, presented in two acts. DHoof drummer Greg Saunier, Read more

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