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TC Tenet - Dr Universe (self-released)

28 January 2024

When you think of the term “alternative rock”, you probably, like me, envisage five guys, and they are usually guys, and generally white, with complicated hair styles, dressed in leather jackets, black skinny jeans and the genre’s seemingly ubiquitous, skateboarding branded gear, looking earnestly into the camera as they try to sell you music that just feels like more of the same.

Well, if alt-rock has become the mainstream, and arguably it has, then isn’t it time for alt-rock 2.0, or alt-alt-rock as it might be titled…the alternative to the supposed alternative? But what would that sound like? Well, I can help you out there, some of it might sound like this new one from TC Tenet.

If “Dr Universe” is his take on that new diversionary path, though I doubt if he thought in those terms, such breakthroughs have to be afterthoughts to the work, not planned destinations, then I, for one, am happy to follow him down it.

Yes, “Dr Universe” is an exciting place to wander. It slowly burns its way into the listener’s consciousness, expands into a squaling wall of slightly undefined, intense and blurred blends of analog groove and digital detail, and then throws in some almost prog-rock interludes before exploding into searing sonics and heading off into the stratosphere.

And, of course, given the lyrical subject matter, which he treats and tempers to make the delivery suitably robotic, otherworldly and disembodied, not only is he brilliantly off-message musically as you must be to really explore new sonic pastures, but he is brilliantly on-point regarding fashion and zeitgeist, given how high sci-fi and super hero media is at the moment.

An alternative door has opened, in more ways than one, so let’s step through it and see where it leads us. Are you coming?