Not Enough Recognition: "Hey, We Tried"

Rob Orlowski

Did you ever have one of those days where you have been working on something for multiple days and when it finally comes down to completing it, everything goes completely wrong?

Sadly, that realization for me came a few days ago after I found out that my seven rolls of film did not develop. Fortunately, the Los Angeles noise pop outfit Tennis System provides a perfectly remedy with their insanely catchy song, “Hey, We Tried.”

“Hey, We Tried‰” is a musical adventure. The song’s hazy beginning sets the scene perfectly, and though it seems like this could be one of those droney intros that essentially takes over the entire song, Tennis System takes it in a completely opposite direction.

As soon as the thundering bassline comes in the song starts to form. Before you know it, you’re bopping your head to poppy lyrics and realize that you are hooked. However, the carnage has not even begun.

As singer and guitarist Matty Taylor turns his pedals on, the song almost veers out of control. The guitars become loud and muddy, paying homage to to Lilys’ “In the Presence of Nothing,‰” and the addition of Taylor‰’s vocals and Bullock‰’s shimmering drums builds a wall of noise.

The noise dies, acting as a tease for you to continue to listen to the entirety of the song, since the real reason why you‰’re listening is to enter into the shoegazey bliss one more time. And it happens.

The noise is loud enough to smack you in the face, but somehow beautiful enough to soothe your ear. At this point, it is as if you were a little kid again jumping up and down on your bed while your friend pummels you in the face with a pillow. Meanwhile you know your parents are going to come upstairs and ruin the fun very quickly, so you absorb the moment while you can.

Once there are no more notes to play, the song suddenly breaks down, the decomposition signaled by one last scream by Taylor. As the noise continues to grow, the bass struggles to keep its self alive, and eventually the noise dies down like any traditional Jesus and Mary Chain song and the journey is over.

By Rob Orlowski