Apparently, The Tenderfoot met over a shared discovery of The Modern Lovers’ eponymous 1976 album at a rain swept Brighton car boot sale.
There isn’t anything as strident as ‘Roadrunner’ on ‘Save The Year’, although ‘To Know The Ceiling Well’ and ‘The Last One Two’, with it’s oblique references to lad culture and binge drinking (‘"Beer boys out playing weekend vandals"), threaten briefly to enter into drone rock territory.
The musical territory The Tenderfoot inhabit is one of janglesome indie guitar with the occasional distraction of a mellotron, a cowbell or a snare drum. Comparison could be drawn to fellow Brightonians Electric Soft Parade, (especially on ‘Cowbell Blues’), something which isn’t too surprising given that keyboardist Marc Beatty worked with the White brothers on a selection of B-sides and demos.
No bad thing, but hardly the stuff of inspiration, and yet the stoner vocals of Darren Moon, the alt. country vibe, the warm production of Danton Supple (Doves, Shack, and yep, ESP) and, principally, some wonderful lyrics are just about enough to keep the listener interested.
‘Save The Year’ is littered with deft lyrical touches which appear to have been learned from a very English school of songwriting: Pulp spring to mind on ‘Like A Leaf’ ("It wasn’t worth pretending / I noticed when the movie finished you caught me watching you"), The Smiths-as-sung-by-ChrisTT on the wonderfully titled ‘You Stopped Letting Me Hold You In The Night’ ("I cannot recall a time before or a previous situation / Where you had been intolerant of my poor circulation").
Though, at times, ‘Save The Year’ threatens to become bogged down in duffel coated tweeness, The Tenderfoot have done just enough here to suggest they could yet produce something more substantial in the future.
6Anthony Gibbons's Score