When: Sun., Feb. 26, 8 p.m. 2012
Producer and Black Keys drummer Patrick Carney didn't exactly toughen Tennis's sound on their new sophomore album, Young & Old (Fat Possum), but he succeeded in balancing their sugary 60s sweetness with a bit of heft. The Denver trio sound like they're expending more energy in the middle minute of opener "It All Feels the Same"—the beat picks up, the guitar intensifies, and singer Alaina Moore practically belts out her lyrics—than they did on the entirety of their twee, hooky debut, Cape Dory. There's a touch of the Black Keys in the fuzzed-out organ, reverbed guitar, and blue-eyed soul melody of "Origins," an effect that nicely complements the band's own sound—which mixes girl-group cuteness with the plush feel (but not the snarl) of Debbie Harry's early material. But Young & Old would be a big step forward even if the production hadn't changed a bit—both the songwriting and the multilayered arrangements are much stronger this time. —Peter Margasak In Tall Buildings open.