Tenement Kids

Tenement Kids

 Dalfsen, Overijssel, NLD

Born in a scene full of fast punk- and harcorebands, Tenement Kids grew up to be a rock band that has been inspired by every decade of the last 40 years of music and translated those influences into a fresh, raw and vibrant new sound.


Tenement Kids are one of those bands that simply exist to make good music and not out there to go for gold. What, if anything could the music industry, completely overrun by mediocrity and greed, use more of right now?

Founded in 2005 in a scene that was dominated by short, loud and fast hardcore punk bands, the Tenement Kids immediately stood out. The passionately played mixture of multiple rock and punk era’s on their demo tape (recorded in bassist Tims dorm room) was a welcome change of scenery for many. At least it was to me. I remember very clearly how singer Gijs Wilbrink slipped me that particular tape at a show in Arnhem, The Netherlands. I was completely taken by surprise when I put it in my home stereo some hours later; this music was very good, very promising. I loved it.

In January 2007, they dropped their amazing “Doves” EP. The record stirred the European underground scene and helped them to get gigs all over Holland, Belgium, United Kingdom and Germany. I watched the band grow and followed them closely. But as aware as I was of the direction the band was going, even I was speechless when I heard two new songs they had recorded with producer Menno Bakker (NRA, Undeclinable Ambuscade) in the summer of 2007. These songs - contributions to the Angry Youth Records 'Glory Days' compilation and a Leatherface tribute album released by Rubber Factory Records - were truly something else. They proved that this band is capable of creating much more than music: they started to move people. I could feel that the band was truly on to something and it was exciting as hell.

I would not be disappointed. In May 2008 they teamed up with the Netherlands' most promising young punk producer Nico van Montfort (Brat Pack, Antillectual, New Morality) to record their debut full length album “We've all been down”. When I first listened to the 11 songs on my advance copy of their latest effort, I realized that Tenement Kids take no prisoners and will exponentially reach and move more and more people in the near future. The music and lyrics on this album are some of the strongest I’ve heard in ages and it echoes the love for music from each band member.

There is 40 years of music history to be found in the sound of this band. I’d like to think that the Tenement Kids were already born before Gijs, Bert, Tim and Martijn saw the light of day. Whether it’s the sixties with The Kinks and The Byrds, the seventies with The Adverts and Stiff Little Fingers, the eighties with Embrace, Joy Division and U2, the nineties with Therapy?, Alice in Chains and Jawbreaker or this millennium with Hot Water Music and Against Me!. Each decade had its effect on the Tenement Kids. Not to mention their years of playing in punk rock and hardcore bands, which account for the band’s right attitude. An attitude we don’t see very often in modern music or the people who are involved in it.

But all promotional talk and comparisons aside, what it all comes down to is the simple fact that I fell right in love with this band the first second I heard them. And so should everyone else. If the music industry is so completely overrun by mediocrity and greed, there’s not a better way to get saved than by the sound something true every once in a while. Good music. Honest music. Something like the Tenement Kids. We’ve all been down. Music saves.

Peter Bootsman - Music critic, record label owner, and friend of the band.


- Doves EP (2007)
- Glory Days 7" (2007)
- V/A The Boat - LeatherFace Tribute compilation
- We've All been Down CD (2008)