Album Review: So Cal Tennis Pros – Fault/Racket

by Matt De Mello
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You haven’t heard of So Cal Tennis Pros. That’s mainly because they’re a new band, but also because they’re part of the new resurgent punk scene we’ve been writing about for the past year or so. Don’t hold that against them, though, their newness that is. I know in this age of technological advancement that anybody with a guitar, Garage Band and dreams can be in a band, but that isn’t the case here.

Lead singer Carlos Torres had been in a string of bands in the late ‘90’s early 00’s with various different Indie labels like 12 inch records, but took a break for a few years after the scene collapsed in on itself. Now, he’s back with a dynamic new sound, officially categorized as Latino punk rock, but just because there a couple of Rodriguezes or Torreses in the band doesn’t make it acid to white people. Ozomatli made a killing off being brown and energetic.

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Tennis Pros don’t align with Ozomatli though they’re more like a three minute and out version of Rage Against the Machine but more raw. Raw is the best way to describe So Cal Tennis Pros. They aren’t tight yet, but they have a fantastic melodic sound. In this track, “Texas Sunrise” the mix isn’t great so the vocals aren’t where they should be, but the music is ferocious and easily digestible.

Texas Sunrise

With the next one “Parrots Are Liars” (they are such fucking liars too!) the music is sort of all over the place and chaotic. The vocals are nearly unintelligible and the mix makes it a very difficult song to like.

Parrots are Liars

The things I like about this band far outweigh the minor fixes that will come with more time together and more experience in the scene as a whole. They are a really good band with a really good sound. Take this song, “Lucid”, the best song I’ve heard by them, it is more than just three chords a change and out, there are complex melodies mixed in with great lyrics, a ridiculously great drum solo and finished with so much energy that I started getting jitters like when I drink too much coffee.

Lucid

This band will come together and be one of those groups like Japandroids that people look to as the leaders of the resurgent punk charge. They will get there if they want to get there. If they put in the work they will go from very good to great, if they remain content in being very good they may even regress. This is a time in music where competition is at an all-time high, if you sit back and allow other bands, more dedicated bands to surge forward you will be left in the dust. I don’t think that’ll happen with this band. There are some very accomplished musicians in this band with veteran experience that will put So Cal Tennis Pros in the public eye very shortly. 

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