Live in Portland July 8, 2018 | Mississippi Studios
In the five years since they formed, Tender Age has witnessed a varied cast of players come and go in their ranks. On their first full-length, Becoming Real Forever, the band has plenty of lyrics that question the nature of authenticity, but the aim of the title is closer to a declaration of self-actualization. Imagine an indie band that uses distortion the way Jackson Pollock used drip painting. What may seem messy is actually quite deliberate and ecstatic in affect, and the band’s recently settled line-up may be the cause of such freedom heard on the album.
“Olives Choice” features guitar riffs that whisk by like dive bombing plane engines, while “Lowers” has no intention of coming down from its eagle-esque soaring. Tender Age may write pop music that never lacks in noise, but it’s pop in the image they’ve crafted–and that means moods of dizzying extremity. It may be easier to record indisputable audio proof of the supernatural than to capture the jangly guitars on “Isn’t Real” in one live take. Becoming Real Forever is the next wave of Portland indie: a soundtrack to your would-be existential leanings, with a killer back beat.