Thursday, August 4, 2016

"Tender Madness" New Album By Jenny Besetzt - Has A Moody New Wavish Post Punk Power

Just let The Rabbit from Jenny Besetzt's latest work "Tender Madness" slowly wash over you in the wee early morning hours when you are most alone and you might just feel your body get lighter and lift off. The droning wall of synths and dense vocals rise gradually and seem to dance in and out of time with the music building into this truly dramatic sonic mantra. It is the last track on the album and such a great closer for the songs that came before.

Other tracks are more crushing in their sound, take for example Lunar Talks that has a chunky power to it with soft edges provided by vocalist / guitarist John Wollaber. Or the equally, driving Restlessness Memorialized that flies by at a fast clip held up with airy guitars and (again) that drone of bass, drums and synths. These songs like the title track Tender Madness has that kind of romantic post punk sound of Joy Division. I also thought of 80's (Los Angeles /Long Beach, California's) Abecedarians and The National.

The bright guitar intro of Authorless Speech that gives away to hyper drumming and heavy bass does take you into straight away into that kind of new wave head space, to that late late 70's early 80's British sound and throughout the ever moody and cool Black As Night in which Wollaber possesses a kind of sultry posture like Matt Berninger (The National) who in turn seems to sometimes be channeling Jim Morrison (The Doors). I can kind of feel that Morrison influence deep down in Jenny Besetzt's Dorothy Everything's Fine which has so many exquisite slow burn moments. The chorale aspect of Kanizsa Triangle yet shows another side of this multifaceted band. It serves as this trippy interlude until the eruption of the aforementioned Lunar Talks.

In the end "Tender Madness" is such an apt title for an album that effortlessly shifts it's tone from song to song all the while holding the band's aesthetic in it's hands. Anytime you play in that vast kind of shoe gazey 80's post punk sound you can lose your emotional grip on your audience if the sound is too foggy but Jenny Besetzt walks this tightrope well. Also, Wollaber adds intimacy to the brooding nature of this kind of performance. I always think that bands with a dense sound have to be careful of not burying the lead vocal (especially live) and I don't hear that here.

Listen, feel Tender Madness with a discerning ear and open heart and it will certainly provide imagery and introspection. Stream the album below.

-
Robb Donker



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