Pop Punk and Cheese . . . Mmmmmm

I don’t know a whole lot about Wisconsin other than they’ve got a football team, they’re leaning towards Obama in the upcoming election (I checked the CNN Electoral map this morning – good choice, Wisconsin), and there’s lots of cheese. However, I do know worth-while alternative pop punk when I hear it or see it live in a basement in D.C.  I saw Tenement last week at the Bervin House in NW D.C.  Tenement is the best band to come out of Wisconsin . . . ever?  As far as I can recall at the moment – yeah, sure.  (Let me know of any other awesome WI bands) This super-fun, super-catchy, pure-gold pop punk is worth a listen.


They’ve got a scratchy-voiced vocalist for the majority of their tunes, but melodic “Ooohs” thrown in on occasion for easier listening although the music is majority fast-paced.  Vocalist Amos is also on guitar duty, and he performs very impressively, adding alternative classic rockin’ impressive riffs to the simple pop punk feel.  Live, I might add, he is quite a trip to watch as he dances around like he’s trying to scratch a million mosquito bites on his legs using nothing but the denim of his jeans.  This not-so-simple pop punk obviously draws influence from classic rock at times, as well as early indie and alternative, but newer indie, pop punk, or emo can be felt too.  They’ve really got a nice mix of influences.  They seem to be an even cross between The Ergs and Dinosuar Jr.  The Ergs seem to be the number one comparison, but I can also detect Hot Water Music and The Descendents.

Check out their space for a lot of streaming material.

Check them on the road because apparently they’ll be on it a whole lot.



  1. Theres a few other pretty decent bands from Wisconsin, including (I don’t know how you feel about ’em, I think they are okay-okay.) but, the Violent Femmes are from Wisconsin. Even though some of the members are from Scotland, theres also Garbage. Decibully is alright, Hey Mercedes was pretty cool. If you like ska-pop punk at all, I Voted For Kodos originated from Wisconsin. Plus, of course the Promise Ring!

    I really enjoy your posts. You talk about music the way I enjoy reading about it. So fucking good. You should be forced to post nightly.

  2. Love Tenement, those dudes have always been really kind to us/helped us book shows – or been up for playing shows we book. As far as other good WI bands, there’s two excellent ones Amos is in now as well-
    Harlequin Kid
    Technicolor Teeth

    then there’s a lot of good powerpop and the like-

    Ian Olvera & the Sleepwalkers
    Tim Schweiger & the Middlemen (oh yeah, Amos drums for them too)
    Beach Patrol
    Bored Games

    and then some good hardcore in the way of

    Holy Shit!
    Quest for Fire (recently split, sadly)

    Then there’s a lot of great indie and punk bands floating around- and everything worth listening to is basically an expansion on that.

    best bands I’ve heard from here in the past 10 years or so are probably Tenement and the Modern Machines. best band that had a recent split was The Goodnight Loving.

    Hope that helped!

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