A couple of months ago a friend posted a link to a song called Kathleen Sat On The Arm of Her Favourite Chair by a band called Hooton Tennis Club, describing it as brilliant guitar pop. I checked it out and was hooked.
The band hail from Liverpool and are signed to Heavenly Records, one of my favourite labels. Their warm slacker guitar sounds are reminiscent of Pavement, Dinosaur Jr and early Teenage Fanclub. The band also cite Parquet Courts, Beck and the Beach Boys as influences on their Facebook page.
Kathleen... is indeed brilliant guitar pop, coming in at 2 minute 29 seconds; the song flows from the start with a lovely guitar riff and the opening line is a killer;
Spent the best days of my life, travelling on trains and drawing cartoons
The song moves at a quick pace, packing a lot into the short time they have. The guitar instrumental at the end of the chorus is superb.
And even if you're lonely, we can go for a walk in the park
Or maybe go swimming
Hooton Tennis Club have just released their debut album Highest Point In Cliff Town. I was eager to find out if they could capture this kind of warmth, humour and feel across the course of an album - I wasn't disappointed.
The lyrics paint pictures of people, locations and feelings. Many of the songs are stories about friends; Rose, Pierre (current single and much loved by Lauren Laverne), Jennifer, Jasper, Kathleen and Camilla all feature in the song titles. The guitars are beautifully loud, raw and warm, rhythm and lead combining superbly, underpinned by simple and effective bass and drums.
The band have a knack for finding cracking riffs and are not afraid to enjoy them and the opening riff of Jasper is one that you'll find yourself humming along to instantly. It was the bands debut single and it sounds glorious; the song is about singer Ryan Murphy's Grandfather who passed away a few weeks before it was written. I love the way they leave a line hanging and let the guitars flourish.
Always Coming Back 2 You is a bit of a favourite of mine already, at 4 minutes 21 seconds it is something of an epic for Hooton Tennis Club. The guitars are sublime, but they allow plenty of space for the bass and drums. The band clearly enjoy the riff and groove they find and the final 1 minute and 21 seconds of the song is dedicated to the band jamming on it - lovely.
The album closes with more delicious fuzzy and scuzzy guitars and the song Fall In Luv. I expect a fair few to fall in love with this charming debut full of fun, hooks and great guitar sounds.
The band play the Glad Cafe in Glasgow on halloween - 31st October.
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