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Powered by thundering drums, bass and two guitars awash in echoing distortion, and Tennis System are Washington D.C.’s loudest export, full of the same raw energy of their aural predecessors Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr., and My Bloody Valentine, yet a chemical reaction to the staid city that surrounds them.

The band took shape in 2008, when guitarist and singer Matthew Taylor sought out a backline with which to play the songs he had been writing for years. Clinton Cole and Brad Fullilove, bass and drums, respectively, came as a package deal, while Drake Eidson followed with his guitar. Practices began in earnest in the same decades-old rowhouse where Sun-Ra once rehearsed and the history of the home, the neighborhood and the city imbued the music from those sessions; so expansive was the sound that the band immediately won attention from bookers and blogs alike. Offers came to play on bills with Japandroids, Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Love is All, A Place to Bury Strangers and Harlem.

The band set about creating its first self-released album, “The Future of Our History,” in 2009 with Jeff Zeigler of Uniform Recording (Kurt Vile, Lymbyc Systym, Brown Recluse) and with mastering by Fred Kevorkian (White Stripes, Pavement, Sonic Youth, the National).

Shortly after the completion of “The Future of Our History,” Eidson left the band to pursue his studies, and multi-instrumentalist Misha Bullock arrived, propelling the band further forward.

“Future,” says Taylor, is a nod to the notion that a band’s first album is the beginning of its story. And the recording is a companion to, rather than a reflection of, the live show, in which volume reveals the sonic complexity of guitars layered thick with effects.


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