Ten Kens [album]
alt-rock quartet Ten Kens
are preparing to shake up the UK
scene with a planned tour, heralded
by their self-titled and very agreeable
album, Ten Kens...
OPENING ON A TERRIFIC NOTE getting louder and louder, Ten Kens start to win
over UK music lovers right from their eponymous album's very first track,
Bearfight, before racing off to the tangle of notes and interesting vocal
sounds on Downcome Home.
Another fresh signing to the FatCat roster, Ten Kens' debut album, Ten Kens,
is set for its worldwide release on September 15 (2008). The publicity machine
describes it as "familiar yet idiosyncratic, with an already finely-honed sensibility
towards conveying their own volatile mix of bittersweet melody and fantastic,
spiked, lysergic alt-rock, Ten Kens traverse a wealth of emotional terrain.
"Lyrically oblique or cryptic, suggesting worlds of possibility, the album is
by turns introspective and belligerent, shot through with a pensive air and
a contrary swagger, relayed via cavernous reverb."
Thoroughly enjoyable and easy to listen to, Ten Kens are putting themselves
out there with the greats and sing with stylish informality. We liked the Sixties-style
cover of Ten Kens and each track is noteworthy with an in-your-face kind
of confidence that just doesn't ruffle any feathers.
Back in 2003, friends Dean Tzenos (guitar) and Dan Workman (vocals) began collaborating
and built on a shared affinity with music, jamming and rehearsing as a three-piece
band with drummers coming and going for the first year.
Having decided to rent a townhouse to write and record an album entirely by
themselves, they shut themselves away for over a year and didn't emerge until
they had something tangible to work with. Once recorded, their creations were
burned to disc and circulated. Following a spate of label interest, culminating
in the signing to FatCat, they were joined by Lee Stringle (Bass) and Ryan Roantree
The four of them started playing shows and began to prepare to record their
debut album proper a record very much influenced by their earlier recordings,
but sounding fresh and revitalised. Ten Kens is very much blessed by a collective
drive and ambition that firmly places them in the realm of their contemporaries,
recalling the likes of Liars, Black Mountain, Black Heart Procession and Arcade
Ten Kens has an innovative, subtle way of bursting into the limelight
the band has got to be noticed; but it is an artistic quality rather than a
self-important one. The album, Ten Kens, is certain to project the band
out onto centre stage with special emphasis on the fascinating Bearfight
and the evocative Downcome Home with its retro folk/country-infused style.
We loved the husky vocals on Y'all Come Back Now and the musical treatment.
The publicity machine goes on: "Recorded at Breakglass Studios in Montreal with
Colin Stewart (Black Mountain, Pretty Girls Make Graves), Ten Kens' brooding,
West Coast psych-ringed oeuvre and the presence of the space seemed almost naturally
aligned, but it was the recording process itself that dictated the shape of
"Laid down in June 2007, the band recorded practically all day and all night
for two weeks straight. The band's goal was simply to capture the spirit unique
to each song, but the album naturally possesses a widescreen sense of drama
that pervades the entire LP, the songs sitting together as a tangible, fully
Hard work has clearly paid off for Ten Kens and the band is clearly determined
to capitalise on a collective talent that promises to reap dividends.
Currently playing shows non-stop in and around their native Toronto, Ten Kens
are set to widen their remit for the release of the album, with US and European
tours currently in the planning stages.
Ten Kens' Ten Kens CD/LP/Digital
is out on 15 September (2008) on FatCat.
1 Bearfight | 2 Downcome Home | 3 Refined | 4 Y'all
Come Back Now | 5 Spanish Fly | 6 The Alternate Biker | 7
Prodigal Sum | 8 Worthless & Oversimplified Ideas | 9 The Whore
Of Revelation | 10 Your Kids Will Know | 11 I Really Hope You
Get To Retire
"We liked the Sixties-style cover of Ten Kens and each track is noteworthy with
an in-your-face kind of confidence that just doesn't ruffle any feathers"
Check out myspace.com/fatcat,