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Tenderhooks
Vidalia
Rock Snob


It's a little ironic that Tenderhooks' Vidalia is released on a label called Rock Snob. I think you'd have to be a true rock snob to be familiar with this Knoxville, TN trio. But they're just too darn good to remain out of the mainstream. This CD is a gem.

Jake Winstrom is the group's lead singer, but group vocals are also bolstered by bassist Emily Robinson's sweet singing. Tenderhooks wisely open with their best song, "Kidstuff", which basically says: if you treat me like a kid, I'll act like one. It's the kind of remark that is repeated in couples' houses, young and old, everywhere I imagine. But it comes off like sharp lyrical commentary in Tenderhooks' hands.
Tenderhooks' melodic vocals and guitar-driven melodies have drawn them comparisons to great power-pop acts of the past, like Big Star and Dwight Twilley. But this group distinguishes itself from purer power-pop with its electric guitar histrionics during "Kidstuff". And when Winstrom asks, "What the fuck do you want me to do?" his potty mouth is more alternative rock worldly wise than Cheap Trick innocent.


If you're a rock snob who wants to be in on a band few in your peer group might know, pick up Tenderhooks right away. But even if you crank Journey and Bon Jovi music in you car without shame, Tenderhooks will still appeal to you, a non-snob.

- Dan MacIntosh


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Mike Doughty



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