- by Jim Harris Rating:9 Release Date:2016-10-21 Label: Heavenly
Highest Point in Cliff Town, with its slacker feel and quality songs, was perhaps the surprise album of the year last year and made it on my top ten list anyway. They sounded like something between Fountains of Wayne and Parquet Courts, with more than a little Pavement thrown in. With Big Box of Chocolates, Hooton Tennis Club, a young band from Wirral, England do not disappoint.
Yes, the first couple of songs on this one secure their position of quality post-punk slacker rock and roll before they up their game a bit with the third song, 'Bad Dream (Breakdown on St George's Mount).'
HTC may have a somewhat predictable approach, but their lyrics are clever and the music is infectious. They do indeed warrant a comparison to Parquet Courts and Ought, if not taking a bit more commercial approach than either of those bands. They haven't started experimenting much, but that's fine (I'm sure that will come). 'Bad Dream' and such songs as 'Oh Man, Won't You Melt Me' take their sound up several notches and you add in a healthy dose of post-punk love songs and the like, and well, with each passing album they will no doubt keep building their audience.
What separates this band from most of the Pavement-inspired rubbish out there is just how talented the band put songs together. It can one minute be laid back, the next, rocking out, and often more melodic than most. They have their own way with things.
The only thing they may fall prey to is an overload of love songs and the prospect of becoming the Kooks. (Heaven forbid.)
Hooton Tennis Club should make it as a staple on many alternative playlists and hopefully they will keep it coming.