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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