Album Review: Tendaberry - Hit It! (EP)

I am so in love with the Atlanta Black alternative music scene. I don't care if I sound like a complete outsider!
Tendaberry is a four-piece post-punk band from the A that has seen their fair share of shine from Afro Punk as well as praises from big-time Black alternative musicians like Janelle Monae. The five-song EP is the official debut album for Tendaberry, although they been around for about seven years, which is - from what I've been told - a typical thing for a debut project to take that long as an independent band.

They open Hit It! with a two-part joint that shows their soulful, retro side and their progressive, edgy side, an opening that really signifies the band's overall development as musicians. Although it sounds a little amateur, the delivery saves the flavor of this band's get-downing(ness).

The album quickly changes pace to an upbeat, oftentimes repetitious sound that is borderline a mixture between The Joy Division and Prince in their lyricism and execution throughout the EP. Then they also come with splashes of Devo and Janelle Monae in their sound and execution as well, but not like they would sound all over the place either. They keep their sound organized, which makes them clean and promising. Imagine if Hit It! was a playlist of all your favorite post-punk and soulful rock songs you could snatch from LimeWire before their settlement.

This album is filled with cynicism that only the alternative music folk can master. Enough sass and attitude a punk can handle, there are songs that make you think about the most basic of things - pop culture, hating love and being human. Not to mention the sarcasm. "Hater" is a song where Tendaberry apologizes for being such an offensive ass for telling the truth in a soft, harmonious finger-snapping ballad. Now, what hater you know is going to apologize for being one? No true hater will A) know they're a hater or B) apologize for being a hater, reasons why this song should not be realistic in any way but it is entertaining background music.

Although slack has been cut for this band due to the recession and the locality of this band, the sound of this album is often annoying, especially considering the amount of garage punk and noise bands already saturating the local Atlanta scene. Although you can tell these guys are a tall glass of fresh water, Tendaberry could've done a better, and definitely cleaner, job mastering this EP. It's one thing to carry on the tradition of sounding local, but if your guitarist is rocking with Deep Cotton and Janelle Monae and opening up for Prince, better will be expected after six years of work. Just saying!

The only true disorganizing thing about Hit It! is the content. It comes off as a showcase of music rather than something important to listen to. Like I said before, it's like a playlist of all your faves from the post-punk genre, as well as any soulful rock music you could think of. Just know that you will never realize it's over, and be pissed when it is. That's the joy of EP's, I guess... I would really look forward to a full-fledge project from this band.

Star's Grade: A-

Anthony David's "What God Said" is Skeptic. LOVE IT!

Before reading any further, please watch the video to gain an understanding of the background of this blog piece.

Anthony David's new video and single off As Above, So Below "God Said" possesses the perfect way to be a skeptic musician, but for the greater good. He's not forcing the audience to not believe in a religion, but teaching them how to think about (and possibly be skeptic towards) extreme religious beliefs and practices, the way (I feel) ALL music should operate.

He illustrates the media's - if not nearly all of society's - exaggerations when it comes to religion and spirituality, spotlighting various out-there practices that have direct effects on current events. Within every image he's not in, there's some form of extreme religious practice going down. He even takes it back to the KKK climatic stages, because let's not forget that they used religion to lure in more whites on the basis of order according to, well, what God said. *in Anthony David's voice*

And it's not just Christianity and Islam, but David also touches on atheism. It may be because of his own skepticism laced within the song, but ultimately he doesn't display his religious beliefs anyway. One thing that is certain for this song when it came to analyzing atheism, there's an element of danger in believing in nothing supernatural.

Further analyzing this video and song, one must listen to the lyrics and what is said throughout the video. The opening says a lot before David says anything - 700 Club's Pat Robertson makes a statement eluding to Haiti's earthquake an act of God because they made a pact with the devil in order to free themselves from formidable French rule. David follows that image with some powerful lyricism, saying, "shake hands with my imaginary friend, / see, the trouble he gets me in / cannot get back to me," almost to fire back at all types of "curses" thrown at people, communities and races.

Although the point he is making is that it is illogical to think that just because you worship a god (or gods), that you have the power to physically thwart knowledge and reason to the side (which includes colonialism, neocolonialism, business, monopoly, policy, and so on), he is not trying to say don't believe in any religion at all. I believe he's trying to say it's ok to challenge your spirituality and/or religion with science and logic. Fundamentalism (religious, political, social, racial, etc), in my opinion (and perhaps David's), is what's most dangerous to the world, point, blank, period. Anybody who cannot live with a face of any kind other than their's will never get to see the face of God.

Now, prey/pray on that.