Avon-via-Leeds’ TENCHPRESS has been bringing the weirdness for a couple of years now, and after their 2021 album, Potemkin Music via Wrong Speed Records, they return with their latest and third LP, Tombmagic.
TENCHPRESS has always found comfort across unlikely terrains, and things don’t change throughout Tombmagic – an album where the experimentalist takes dance and punk only to toss it through the meat grinder. This isn’t ‘dance punk’, though. TENCHPRESS is anything but that kind of disposable nonsense for hipsters to get ‘dance-y’. No, no, no; a label like Cruel Nature wouldn’t dare permit such shenanigans.
On Tombmagic TENCHPRESS incorporates a no-wave vibe, breaking down the boundaries of anything beat-orientated or guitar-based, glazing over things with a skewed pop nuance.
With I’ve Thrown Basslines Out That You Could Mortgage Houses On, the elusive artist may just deserve some sort of accolade purely based on moniker alone. Here we see TENCHPRESS kicking things off with a wave of melodica and soft marching band drums, evoking the kind eerie feeling one gets when listening to a Clinic record.
And Mallenders and Sallenders continues the Ade Blackburn vibes, with a galloping guitar and skewed rhythms that oddly become quite the earworm after repeated listens.
On Muscle Up! TENCHPRESS edges closer to the dance floor – think synth-punk on chemical refreshments; or for those who offend easily, Sparks on too much fruit punch. Either way, TENCHPRESS draw from a vast array of influences to form some weird galactic space-punk hybrid.
It continues on Quatermions and Dirac Flo(w) – no-wave offerings once again skirting with the dance floor (“If you control the resources/You control the power“).
If Foetus Funk is TENCHPRESS on the uppers, then Fridgecleaner (yet another great title) is the downer that completes Tombmagic. An abstract acoustic sermon showcasing high levels of absurdity.
At times challenging and hard to digest, with Tombmagic the rewards come with closer listening. There’s a lot at play here, and if one scratches beyond the surface, then they will soon realise that TENCHPRESS are very much a part of the New Weird Britain patchwork. And they are a worthy addition, with few exploring the realms of pop music the way TENCHPRESS does. Tombmagic is yet another extension of that.
Tombmagic is out September 2 via Cruel Nature Records. Purchase from Bandcamp.