Trent Fox & the Tenants, “Mess Around EP” 7-inch

cover-trent-foxTrent Fox & the Tenants
Mess Around EP
(Kind Turkey)

Trent Fox & the Tenants have a surf-inflected vibe to their sound the belies the band’s landlocked status. The Trashmen were from Minnesota, though, so there’s a precedent for the snotty garage this foursome plays. All the songs on the Mess Around EP are full-on party starters, sounding like the Black Lips, but without all the flower power and hipster annoyances.

All tracks have a certain buoyant fun to them, but it’s the final track that really got me. That closing song, “Sounds Fine to Me,” bops along with some downstroke guitar, and lyrics about heading out, hanging around drinking and listening to records. It’s almost too sloppy, holding itself together all the while with that guitar work. It almost disintegrates as the chorus kicks in, but manages to kick along with a doo-wop backing vocal, collapsing in a relieved heap at the end.

I didn’t get the cool Packers-colored vinyl, but all of the copies come with the top of the sleeve singed and burnt, looking like the title card to a Sergio Leone western. It’s pretty nice. Hand-numbered, and limited to 500.