The vast expanse of Wisconsin still remains a Wild West to many people. It is still believed that there are demons in the forests and monsters in the lakes. In this case, there is no doubt that “Tenement” lived in these forests and drank of these lakes. During their career, their work ethic and musical ideas have been frequently associated with an outsider thinking and a stubborn personality. The energy they produce actually reminds us of magic. After the release of their new album, “Predatory Headlights”, their importance in the modern music world became undeniable. They’re no more just an little-known punk band from the remote corners of society’s consciousness, but also one of US most popular outsider pop groups.
The main songwriter of the band is Amos Pitsch. He formed the band ten years ago with bassist Jesse Ponkamo, and the two invited Eric Mayer as their permanent drummer a few years later. During their live show, you will find a deafening boom and an amazing spectacle. In a studio setting, as you can note in the new album, their sound is gentle and thoughtful even in the loudest tracks. You may see the great impact of such groups as “The Descendents” or “The Ramones”. However, the impact of such “lights” as Ruth Crawford Seeger and Robert Kirby are obvious in the incorporation of strings to the pop tracks that could stand fast on their own. However, after the repeated listening, you may hear a lot of other impacts- from the light soul to the avant garde. These are mixed easily; something the band does naturally, as their purpose is always unwavering and absolute. In short, when something must be pretty, the band makes it pretty. However, when something should be awful, they leave no shine and make it rough.
“Predatory Headlights” was finished within 3 years with the help of the audio engineer Justin Perkins. Pitsch has often mentioned Perkins’ contribution to the early 2000’s bands “Yesterday’s Kids” and “The Obsoletes” as a strong impact. Moreover, Perkins worked with the Pitsch’s band on their album “Napalm Dream” and the recognized records like “The Goodnight Loving” and “TheMystery Girls”.
The most part of “Predatory Headlights” was created at BFG in Appleton, Wisconsin – the band’s home and music studio. It was symbolically destroyed a few days after completing the record, and in a fitting picture of accomplishment, 3 years of sweat and bad sleeps and beauty and dissonance returned to the soil and found its way back into the lakes and forests with only this album to show it has ever existed.