Japanese avant-pop duo, Tenniscoats, released All Aboard in July this year. I’m a bit late to the party with this review, but I’ve spent the long weekend falling in love with this album, so here we are.
Tenniscoats continue the trend of collaboration on their albums, this time with the Japanese drummer Ikuro Takahashi. He holds the meandering guitar and sweetly melodic vocals in place and helps to propel the sounds forward into strong pop-rock territory, yet it’s the guitar and vocals which emerge as heroes.
Korogair Mario, the opening track, sprawls along dreamily and it’s not until the following Mosha Mosha that we see the more melodic pop side of the coin. Both sounds are present on the album and it’s in Shinjitsu Pan (and Shinjitsu Pan 2) with the funky psych-jazz guitar and solid beat that things really get moving. On the dreamy side of the coin, Stones In The Boot transported me as I fell asleep on the couch, the perfect Sunday afternoon vibe.
The dream continues through the penultimate track, Yume Wa Sukkiri, which is hypnotic and slow, but still held together by the beat. At close to 10 minutes, this one really does rock you to sleep in the nicest way, like the gentle movement of water on a placid lake in the sunshine.
The quirkiness dial gets turned up a notch on the closing track, 20arms. This is a wistful sounding ballad with some English lyrics and spoken words – “it’s like a watermelon … watch out! here comes a give wave! waaaaaaahhh! … yes, the wind is with us … All Aboard!”. Waking up from this album is certainly like emerging from a sedate yet psychedelic dream.
Tenniscoats are touring Australia and play The Square in Sydney on Thu 11th October – unfortunately the same night that Tortoise are playing.
All Aboard is out now through Chapter Music.