Photo: Giuliana Ciampoli

Disparate elements of pop, glam, garage and punk inform Tenterhooks’ brash and tuneful sound. The band’s combination of volatile, raw rock and harmonic pop sensibilities elicits comparisons from Hüsker Dü to New Pornographers.

Fronted by Lenny Zenith, Tenterhooks is one of a few transgender-led bands. Lenny and Tenterhooks’ bassist James Pertusi were formerly in noise pop band Jenifer Convertible.

Like many NYC bands, Tenterhooks began life amid the stale cigarette and beer smells of Bushwick’s Sweatshop rehearsal studios before relocating to Manhattan’s infamous Music Building. Together with powerhouse drummer Scott Campbell, Zenith and Pertusi crafted their songs into a powerful, cohesive set, with the aim of releasing an EP to secure more shows and highlight their bracing brand of indie-power-pop. Guitarist, Hiro Suzuki, joined them for the studio recording and several gigs.

Produced and engineered by Pertusi, Tenterhooks recorded their debut EP (Meanwhile, in another part of town) at [the end] studios in Brooklyn (Kaiser Chiefs, Dirty Projectors) for a March 24, 2015, release on The Sugarblast Music Company label.

Lenny Zenith started playing in New Orleans in his 20s, opening for international touring acts (U2 & Iggy Pop, among others) and fronting several bands before moving to NYC.

seven-inchJames’ and Lenny’s critically acclaimed NYC band Jenifer Convertible, releases included— 7″ single “Car Song/Co-Dependency” (produced by James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem) and a CD entitled Wanna Drag, produced by Wharton Tiers (Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr.) were widely well-received.

Recently profiled on, Lenny Zenith will be featured in a documentary film about the early New Orleans punk scene entitled “Almost Ready”; is often featured in New Orleans press; and will soon publish his memoir Before I Was Me.

Tenterhooks celebrated the release of their EP at The Rock Shop on Tue. March 24 at 7pm, an event also featuring Wharton Tiers Ensemble, Martin Bisi, and Secret Numbers.