Wirral based, indie rock four piece Hooton Tennis Club gained attention with debut single ‘Jasper’ on Heavenly Recordings, having signed to the label after being spotted only three gigs into their careers by Carl Hunter (The Farm). ‘Highest Point in Cliff Town’ is their debut album release on the label and if the taster single ‘Kathleen Sat on the Arm of Her Favourite Chair’ is anything to go by, expect chirpy, 60’s pop inspired guitars and catchy vocals that won’t leave you alone.
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Ach. When debut single ‘Jasper’ piped out of the airwaves I thought Hooton Tennis Club could be the next great British hope for slacker guitar pop. This debut however disappointingly falls way short of finding us a new Teenage Fanclub for the post mp3 generation.
Concerns start early, opener ‘Up in the Air’ just never convinces, it’s slackly produced which would be fine if it had a killer tune but it doesn’t. The same criticism could be applied to ‘I’m Not Going Roses Again’ - many bands can’t play their instruments all that well and it doesn’t really matter but but marry some quite obviously out of time drumming to a melody which is bored of itself before the first chorus then alarm bells start to ring. The album continues in this vein and far more effort seems to have gone into the ridiculous song titles than into actually constructing decent songs.
Maybe I'm being a bit unfair, it’s ok ish in a fun summer pop way but I feel the band are absolutely not ready to record their debut. They sound like a bunch of lads who have formed at University for a laugh, written a couple of decent songs and have been expected to fill a whole LP with them. True, they have a nice laid back Lemonheadsy sound which could do well for itself given time but you need a bit more insouciant charm and songwriting chops before you can start imagining you are Evan Dando.
Give them a couple of years off to write some decent stuff and then let’s see what happens.
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