Here is a List of Things That Exist EP / Black Metal Yoga 7″
Square of Opposition Records/Death to False Hope Records
You don’t stroll into your local record store and discover a band like The Rentiers (unless your record store clerks are either wicked cool, or you live in Pennsylvania). They have no social media presence, or official website, so the only way to really know about this band ( or these releases) is through word of mouth. So, ya know, you’re welcome.
The latest project from Philadelphia’s Joel Tannenbaum (Plow United, Ex-Friends) is a departure from his previous punk excursions, but that’s not to say he’s checked his punk or indie cred at the door. With the aid of Chumped’s Anika Pyle, drummer Mikey Erg (Worriers, The Ergs!, and just about any other band who has ever needed a drummer ever), and producer/keyboardist Tyler Pursel (Gym Class Heroes, Goddamnit) Tannenbaum has laid out an EP and a 7″ that feel like the kind of music a musician makes when he doesn’t think that, or care if, anyone is ever going to listen. It’s laid back, yet high charged, and it’s musically all over the place.
The Here is a List of Things That Exist EP begins with an exquisite slow building ballad about growing up and juggling feelings of failure with feelings of hope (“Stories of Adam”). Reminiscient of The Rentals, the boy/girl vocals of Tannebaum and Pyle on this, and the rest of the tracks, is the key ingredient — his vocals pack a road worn, cynical urgency, while hers kiss the ears with hope and hugs. “Votive Candles” with it’s chorus of “Life never gives you more than you can handle/ look at all the votive candles” closes out the album with another song about overcoming obstacles in the face life’s punches.
Released just a couple months later, the Black Metal Yoga 7″ is a perfect pair of songs that sound nothing like one another, or even much like anything on the EP. The title track combines sci fi lyrics with a message to do whatever you want regardless of what others think and, hey, if that means going Black Metal Yoga (look it up — it’s a thing!) then so be it! The b-side track “Drunks and Stoners” is a chill reggae ska song that is as unexpected, but welcome, as finding a $10 bill crumbled up in your jeans pocket. It’s further proof that with The Rentiers, or any other band he decides to form, Joel Tannenbaum will play whatever the hell he feels like playing. And we will gladly listen.