On September 4th, 2017, the “slacker pop” band based out of Joplin, Missouri, Tennis Club, released their self titled album. The trio, consisting of bassist Justin Akin, drummer Sean O’Dell, and guitar/vocalist Wilson Hernandez, are breaking into the surf rock scene with the release of this first album.
Although the Missouri three-piece lives hundreds of miles away from the beach, the Southern Californian surf punk vibes that emanate from this album are off the wall. Somewhere between the energy of The Frights and FIDLAR, Tennis Club draws from 1950s rock and incorporates jazz undertones in order to create their own unique sound.
Starting off the album with “Lovely Haircut,” you are immediately transported to summer time and can’t help but imagine yourself sitting and listening to the song at a concert in the park. Continuing with the chill sounds of the first track, the second song “Rain Checks” starts with a deep echo and then quickly transfers back into the smooth summer sounds. The lyrics “I thought you liked me / But you, you just want to smoke my weed” make your heart ache and gets you thinking about every problematic high school relationship.
The third song, “Halloween Creep,” is simple and keeps with the same relaxed vibe as the rest of the album. The fourth song, “House Show,” brings a deeper drum beat and lyrics you can’t help but sing along to. The lyrics “Smokin’ cigarettes just to turn you off / But you don’t really give a shit,” and, “You really make me want to die” are cynical and the perfect mix to the screeching mic DIY backyard show sound.
The fifth song, “Birthday,” is upbeat and makes you want to get up and dance. The lyrics “People say / Just give it time / Drink some wine” are words to live by and are just catchy enough to get stuck in your head for the day (which definitely isn’t a bad thing).
The sixth song, “Cola,” makes you want to start up a circle pit and run around the beach at sunset. The steady drum beat and guitar riffs create the perfect vibe for a summer soundtrack. The seventh song, “Wendy,” changes pace and brings in a heavier drum beat that gives off an 80s school dance sound. The drum roll at the end and the fading out of noise into silence is a flawless end to the track.
The last song of the album, “Chinese Slippers,” creates an intro that is a mix of U2’s “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” and the classic surf rock sound that has been portrayed throughout the album. The guitar riffs and bass that can be heard throughout the song are intoxicating (and personally makes this one of my favorite songs on the album).
The whole Tennis Club album is an amazing debut for this young Missouri band and I’m sure we all can’t wait for what they are planning to create next. Tennis Club, can be found on Bandcamp, Spotify, iTunes, and other music streaming sites.