Brighton-based duo TENEK first came to our attention with their debut album ‘Stateless’ in 2009. Their distinctive sound, combining hard-edged electro with catchy synth pop hooks won them a legion of admirers.
Geoff Pinckney and Peter Steer, who together make up TENEK, are themselves massive fans of the genre, and their influences past and present shine through in their music. Now they return with a brand new album ‘On the Wire’.
At The Electricity Club, we adore great album artwork and the first thing that struck us about ‘On the Wire’ was its brilliant cover. Stylish, sexy and subversive, it gives a pretty good indication of what lies inside. For the first half on the album, TENEK take up from where they left off with ‘Stateless’. Tracks like ‘Losing Something’ and ‘Higher Ground’ have an immediate appeal and will translate well to the live environment. Highlights include ‘No Time For Fighting’ with its pounding rhythm and anthemic synths.
Recent single ‘Blinded By You’ demonstrates TENEK’s knack for combining dark lyrical themes with a killer chorus. Incidentally, the single release of ‘Blinded By You’ includes a show-stopping B-side, ‘Synchronise’. This track, with its clattering synths and shouted refrains sounds something like THE HUMAN LEAGUE’s cover of ‘Rock N Roll’ for a new era! ‘Synchronise’ is not included on the album, but anyone considering parting with some cash for ‘On the Wire’ should consider stretching to the single release too. An extended remix of ‘Blinded By You’ is also included.
Back to the album, and it’s the second half that really showcases TENEK’s versatility. ‘Visions’ is superb, blending Peter and Geoff’s vocal harmonies with an infectious melody and meticulous production.
Then comes a subtle change of gear for future single ‘The Art of Evasion’, a reflective song which is surprisingly reminiscent of TEARS FOR FEARS.
The album’s title track ‘On the Wire’ is another album highlight; a wonderfully dark and emotive song which demands to be played at high volume!
With their debut album, TENEK showed great promise. ‘On the Wire’ delivers on that promise, with a more powerful sound and some inspired songwriting. The punchy electro stompers are still there, but what makes this album so engaging is the variety of textures and tempos on offer. TENEK are pushing the boundaries, and with songs this good they are poised to bring their music to the masses.
‘On the Wire’ is released on 6 September 2010 through Toffeetones. The ‘Blinded By You’ CD single is available now.
Text by Steve Gray
2nd September 2010