Monday, October 29th, 2018

Tancred – Something Else

Neither “Somebody Else” nor “Somewhere Else,” but we’ll take it…


Katherine St Asaph: I just wanna go back to ’99, the year of the Jawbreaker and Cruel Intentions soundtracks, when there were a hundred songs like this per label.

Edward Okulicz: Hole if they’d been fronted by Juliana Hatfield? Sure, why not, but I won’t overlook the blurry nothing of the chorus next time.

Jacob Sujin Kuppermann: The vagueness of the chorus here would be a sticking point if not for the specificity of the verses, all pointed and poetic questioning and parallel structures. In context, that monster of a hook then reads not as hack platitudes but the fullest capturing of the rush of instant infatuation. And over a symphony of perfectly-toned guitars and driving drums, Jess Abbott sells that infatuation expertly, letting the vulnerability drop into her voice on the pre-chorus in order to release all of her emotions on the hook.

Tim de Reuse: A backdrop of energetic indie rock that, while competent, isn’t going to turn any heads by itself; there’s as many good parts to the instrumentation (the Interpol-esque lead guitar) as there are not-so-good parts (yeesh, could those “woo-oo-oo”s sound any more bored?). But what ties it together is Jess Abbott’s voice; it’s forceful and sharp, with no vibrato or ornamentation, cutting through the mix and bringing out the frustrated undertones of the lyrics. It takes effort to make a line like “I tried feeling nothing/It felt just like nothing” sound convincing.

Julian Axelrod: When you’ve heard enough indie guitar jams, it takes a lot to make another one stand out. Tancred has a lot of tricks up their sleeve: That fake-out ending is glorious, and “I tried feeling nothing/And it felt just like nothing” is one of the year’s best lines. But I’m left grasping at an array of reference points (what if Metric had… louder drums???) without a clear sense of what sets Tancred apart from the pack.

Vikram Joseph: Queer, female indie-rock with artistic links to Julien Baker, Kississippi and Foxing — I couldn’t have wanted to like this more. But “Something Else” comes off as a hollow Hole pastiche, with a chorus that’s so close to “Celebrity Skin” it’s actually uncomfortable. This lacks the distinctive mood of Snail Mail, the poignant specificity of Waxahatachee or the sheer propulsion of Cayetana. Maybe it’s unfair to compare Tancred to such strong contemporaries, but this offers so little of its own character that it feels unavoidable.

John Seroff: Solidly convincing girl-group grunge with admirably clean and ever-so-slightly barbed lead vocals, “Something Else” has a flavor that’s been out of fashion for so long that I had forgotten I actually quite enjoy it when it’s done well.

Will Adams: A handful of ingredients I undeniably enjoy in isolation — goth-leaning moodiness in the vein of Pvris; guitars intentionally detuned to the point of disorientation; girl group woo-hoo-hoo’s; the “Celebrity Skin” riff — that, when tossed together, add up to a sum less than the parts.

Reader average: [6] (1 vote)

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5 Responses to “Tancred – Something Else”

  1. My blurb for this would just have been “there are better songs on this album and there are way better songs on Out of the Garden. Also the snares are too loose”

  2. first mention of Foxing on TSJ!
    Might pick “Slapstick” for Amnesty :)

  3. @copperman ooh “gameshark” is high on my list for amnesty but that’s good to know (might go for something more boston singer-songwritery tho)

  4. foxing amnesty should be “heartbeats” imo

    this album was real disappointing but i like this song a lot

  5. I might do “Heartbeats” too. Or something different entirely. Still deciding :)