Well, it’s not punchy. A Deeper Understanding, the new full-length from The War On Drugs …
The 1990s were a time in which different styles morphed and merged into music that was both edgy and oddly familiar, combing a style of jarring guitar, simple drumbeats and brooding lyrics. It’s a style that has helped deem the decade as being one of the best in music. This tradition is most recently shown in local band Tender Age’s, newest EP Disappear Here. The EP, a short-lived six songs, evokes a rhythmic shoegaze, noise-pop feel. The band is able to reconstruct the intense reverb-heavy and dissonant feedback that trended in the early-to-mid ’90s with bands like Sonic Youth, Primal Scream and Breeders.
The group’s dual female vocals arranged with layered guitars is reminiscent of bands like My Bloody Valentine. Each song is uniquely true to Portland’s music scene and is universally gratifying. From the get-go, with its tracks “Lowers” and “Delirium” the band shows their level of comfort with disintegration- like synth and metallic beats, and both are tied together with ethereal vocal styles.
The songs, though seemingly simple with their instruments — guitar, drums, bass, synths, vocals and more guitar — display a cohesion that bleeds together into a fervent trebly jangle. The EP is compelling and rides a wave of nostalgia with its fuzz guitar, simple melodies, augmented electronics and basic drum pulses.
Disappear Here is meant to be heard loud, because at any lower volume its vitality would be lost — and Tender Age is able to update the early rock riffs and distortion with an intensity that when cranked up to speaker-rattling levels has an infectious end result. »
– Samantha Lopez
EDITOR’S NOTE: This album was selected as one of our 11 favorite Portland albums of 2016. Jump to the other year-end selections below.