LONGER SHELF LIFE
The first time we heard ‘Shelf Life’, before Tenderfist’s debut Tourist Car was released, there was something about the band that was immediately clear once Edzwan sung “Look at the books you loved to read/All the writers they are already dead.” There’s a Talking Heads-era David Byrne quality to their music – it’s not the sound per se, but the feeling of modern day ennui they exude.
It helps that Edzwan sings with the intonation of a mumbly office drone tired of his near automaton life. Others might find his (lack of) enunciation to be a slight, but we think it fits perfectly with what Tenderfist is achieving here. Kuala Lumpur is fast becoming a metropolis of slackers, office drones, and young adults wishing their lives were a certain Chuck Palahniuk novel, and Tenderfist channels that perfectly on closing track ‘Somewhere’.
More optimistic than the synthy melancholy of the beat would suggest, the song proposes the romantic notion of eschewing the façade of modern propriety and replacing it with modern excess. “Someday we’ll be gone,” after all. It’s not all gloom and weariness though, title track ‘Tourist Car’ makes us want to burn, well, tourist cars full of drunks.
Edzwan said in an interview that they were stuck listening to Motown records during the recording of the album. It’s no wonder then that the synths are aided by more live instruments. Tenderfist sounds better than ever now, just when we thought they were in a ‘This Wasted Heart’ stasis, the boys toured Europe and came back with a promising debut.
LISTEN TO: ‘Shelf Life’, ‘Somewhere’, ‘Tourist Car’
IF YOU LIKE THIS YOU’LL DIG: Pastel Lite, M.O.I.S.T.