Tenement Halls Knitting Needles & Bicycle Bells

Tenement Halls’ front-man Chris Lopez may not know how to sing, but at least he knows it. He also knows how to write a quality pop song. As for the singing, he reconciles his inability with heavy vocal overdubs and staggering insouciance — never afraid to shout or reach for registers he has no business hitting. For example, throughout "As Long as it Takes” one can’t help anticipating the chorus of "Sweet Caroline” as rendered by Bobcat Goldthwaite. And that’s representative of the bulk of the album — shout-along choruses with a rockabilly alacrity that sweeps you into an alternately billowing and waning 43-minute pop tempest. Never dull. (Merge)