By Declan Roberts (@DeclanMR)
Ranging from tales of never-ending love to nightmare party situations, Wirral-based foursome Hooton Tennis Club have made a heart-on-sleeve debut album. As consistency goes, HTC are the kings. As you progress through twelve tracks of wonderful titles, the slacker-pop of Howler and ‘I Should Coco’-era Supergrass springs to mind as Highest Point In Cliff Town gives us a breadth of skater-boy indie jams.
‘I’m Not Going Roses Again’ give us insight into a particularly disastrous night out at a friends party: “But it’s only one party you’ve been / and it’s the worst that I’ve ever seen”. This anecdotal style is delivered with all the charm and wit of a sarcastic mid-twenties songwriter, while subtle references to art and culture are a fine addition to a song that oozes those studio jam vibes. Lead single ‘P.O.W.E.R.F.U.L P.I.E.R.R.E’ packs a punch with its crunchy chords and karaoke style vocals to bolster its singalong credentials.
The tinkling notes of ‘Barlow Terrace’ are a graceful accompaniment to Jasper’s lyrical hooks: “My forgetfulness is such a mess / oh what a mess”. ‘Always Coming Back 2 You’ meanwhile slows the pace and unwinds into a heartbreaker summer ballad. ‘Standing Knees’ is the standout of the album, a gorgeous bass line leading the rhythm front and a scathing insult providing HTC’s most potent earworm: “’Cause you’re no superior / than a common pest”.
Hooton Tennis Club’s jangly three-chord indie numbers may earmark them as England’s answer to Parquet Courts, yet the underlying depth of their songwriting promises a more complex journey to come that all cult bands undergo.