Oozing some sticky ’90s grunge-punk, Maggie Denning willows I think I’m ready to let this go on opening track “Emotional Labor.” Before you know it, she goes from whisper to screech on noisy “Fascist” where she’s Past the point of giving fucks. Underground tips of riot grrrl punk mixed with some cool-hearted balladry, this is Tetchy. The Brooklyn, NY-bred punk band, literally spawn out of a makeshift NYC basement, is debuting their first album, Hounds, a response to mental health struggles, fascists in power, and quitting your day job.
“Our debut EP has been patiently waiting in our back pockets,” Tetchy singer and guitarist Denning tells American Songwriter. “But boy what a wait it has been.”
Written and produced more than a year ago, Hounds is full of fuzz and grit. Recorded and mixed by Justin Pizzoferrato and recorded at Sonelab Studio in Easthampton, MA, some parts are the kind of music you listened to when your parents pissed you off, and you slammed your bedroom door. But this isn’t all Tetchy is about. Hounds rolls up and down from outright vexed through sentimental and profound.
“These songs cut straight to the core of what it means to experience misogyny and trauma—and to let the voice of that experience fly ragefully into the faces of your oppressors,” says Denning. “These songs grapple with mortality, loss, and identity, and the hard and ugly feelings that live in your mind’s darkest corners.”
Distorted and oft harsh, there’s no dissonance in the clarity of Tetchy’s messages. On “The Fool,” written by bassist Dylan LaPointe, the band confronts loneliness and uncertainty, and the sorrow that comes with being complicit in your own denigration. “’The Fool’ was born from the hurt of other people not seeing the beauty in you, and the ensuing, ever-lingering painful truth that they in fact see you as a total joke,” says LaPointe.
The more gutteral “Quitter” questions Why the fuck am I doing this to myself … Why do I even bother / I’m a quitter just like my father and the more emotional balladry of “The World,” which touchingly opens with a voice message from Denning’s late father, with lyrics When this world told you it would be easy, Denning sweetly counters with Haha haha.
“There are moments of simplicity and moments of chaos,” says Denning. “[There are] moments of heavy rage and moments of quiet mourning. All [are] working in tandem to voice the experience of nonlinear healing with simultaneous strength and vulnerability.
Right now, Tetchy are also feeling some love. It’s their time, and Hounds delivers.
“The wonderfully open and loyal support we’ve experienced from sharing these songs through live performances alone has fueled this project into an unpredictable overdrive,” says Denning. “And it feels like a new kind of freedom and a collective healing to finally share them in this capacity.”