In the desolate landscape of "modern" music, quality songwriting has been de-valued and the obtuse and esoteric is routinely passed off as innovation. But every once in a long while, an original record cuts through the fog to remind us that there is no substitute for killer hooks, whipcrack musicianship, and three minute miracles. This year, that album is "dig the new sounds of...TENNISCOURTS", and it is exactly what we've all been waiting for. TENNISCOURTS. One word - lowercase, if you please. This exciting new band is the direct descendant of power-pop greats like the Jam, the Buzzcocks, and Cheap Trick, yet with an indisputably unique voice all it's own. The 13 songs on "dig the new sounds..." span all that makes pop music great - from the anthemic chorus of "Forever True" to the sugary confection of "Swimming Pool", from the propulsive waltz of "27b" to the staccato handclaps of "Nicotine Nights", this is the sound of a band that knows their way around a pop song. And let it be said, for the record, that is no small thing. TENNISCOURTS is the brainchild of one Wes Hollywood, well known to all Chicago rock fans for his Wes Hollywood Show combo, a fixture on the local scene for nearly a decade. The WHS released 4 LPs, culminating with the widely acclaimed Moonraker. As time went on, Wes noticed the widening gulf between the loose indie rock sound that was prevalent at the time and the succinct and economical pop songs that increasingly dominated his catalog. Deciding to follow his own voice rather than those around him, Wes formed TENNISCOURTS out of the ashes of the WHS and released a self-titled LP in 2007. A hundred shows and a few lineup tweaks later, and the group fully coalesced. Now joined by Spencer Matern's effortlessly melodic basslines, the tasteful keyboard playing of Chris Thomson, and the propulsive drumming of Tom Shover (Brown Betty, Fondly), TENNISCOURTS, Wes finally has the perfect accompaniment for his delirious pop masterpieces. "dig the new sounds of...tennis courts" was recorded at Kingsize Sound Labs in Chicago, with extensive and meticulous overdubbing done by Wes in his home studio. Additional recording and mixing was done at Engine Studios with Balthazar De Ley (Menthol, La Scala). Backing vocals on "Sleepy Animal" by Kevin Junior, lead gtr on "Crystal City" by Tim Fowler, and percussion on nearly everything by Derek Crawford. _____________________________________________________ TENNISCOURTS' earnest pursuit of pop perfection continues unabated on Dig The New Sounds Of . . ., with it's Cheap Trick-edged, Oasis-esque sound solidly propelling the band through it's 12 carefully crafted originals. While clever lyrics, solid solo-instrumental turns, and smart production turns override formulaic tempo tendencies, the much more layered, complex cuts "Crystal City" and "The Grove" stand apart as the band's aspirational apogee. -David C. Eldredge No track here falls flat. -Powerpopaholic This album desereves to be in your rotation. -Avant/Chicago Armed with a wealth of hooks, attitude and energy, the album is a very welcome break from the hordes of overly obtuse indie rock and chamber pop acts that try hard to say a lot, but end up saying very little. -Chicago Rock Music Examiner.