Tonight in Seattle:  

Tennis Pro — Small Basement Encore


Hey, Seattle. Got a minute? We need to talk to you about something. Pull up a seat.

Here's the thing: you do a lot of stuff right. Those are great shoes, and we saw you out at that show last week. You're real cool! You listen to good records. You support small businesses. You like that weird shit that nobody else likes but you, and you've got all those rad posters to prove it. You're doing good work! But we're not sure if you're down with Tennis Pro yet. Are you? Because there's no excuse for you not to be. They've been putting albums out for the better part of a decade, and if you're not totally hooked, you're kinda doing it wrong.

Thankfully for you, this is an easy fix: Small Basement Encore was released last week, and it's a great place to start building out this corner of your wheelhouse. SBE is the very best of Tennis Pro's intelligent, infectious releases to date, and it's available as a digital-only release through iTunes (and cdbaby). It's kind of like your BFF made you an all-Tennis-Pro-hits side A to your new favorite mixtape.

What starts off as an intelligent, hilarious trip through some killer chord choices quickly turns the corner into a veritable symphony of awesomeness. If you don't catch the depth these guys dive to on the first listen, plug in your headphones and give it a second play. Then a third. Soon you'll be hollering "Rock Over Tokyo" in the shower before work, and tapping your pencil in a daydream to the tune of "Caught The Wrong Wave" without even realizing it. Scratch your symphony itch with "Rounding Up The Frightened Pets," find a new smart-kid fuck-you power jam in "We Put The Punk In Punctuation" -- whatever you do, just buy this album today and let it be your gateway drug to the band's catalog.

To get technical for a moment: forgive the pat terms, but the only way to appropriately describe their sound is 'genre-transcending'. There are moments of all-out Actual Indie Rock, fringes of pop-punk, a nod to math- and twee sensibility -- and that's just the start of it. Catchy and downright anthematic at times, the selections on Small Basement Encore could graze infinite "sounds-like" comparisons, all while maintaing Tennis Pro's totally unique vibe. It's as if they knock at the door of something you think you've heard before to invite you in to this crazy room where they live, and once you're over the threshold, they hook you for good in the very best way. Once you've absorbed SBE, it'd be well worth your time to paw through their body of work and find your favorite jams, from 2004's Happy Is The New Sad to 2011's Shimokita Is Dead? and everything in-between.

Take a minute to go pick up Small Basement Encore and let the tubes take it right to your phone. That way, you can bust it out at parties, or casually have it playing the next time you're picking all your friends up to head out for a day trip. While you're at it, save the dates: Tennis Pro has a headlining gig at Chop Suey on June 5th, and are on the The Catch reunion show lineup at the Crocodile later that month on the 25th.

You can pretend like you knew the whole time. Don't worry, we won't tell anyone.

{Small Basement Encore was released on April 15th and is available as a digital-only release through iTunes. For more about Tennis Pro, visit their website here and keep up with their world on Facebook here.}

I LOVE this review so much! Just as much as I LOVE Tennis Pro. xoxoxoxoxo

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