Got a recent note from John of local power-pop/punk trio Teenage Kicks about new songs they've got up on their Myspace, saying that we SCR folks were apparently among a select few who really liked the band's demo earlier this year. And frankly, that's fucking ridiculous, because these three guys craft some of the best, smartest, savviest songs I've heard in the past few years, local band or no.
The new songs are no exception, either -- with "I'm Not Surprised", "Make It Short", "(I Wanna Be) Your Enemy", and "Genocide", Teenage Kicks further cement their place in the pantheon of truly cool power-pop bands of any era. They wear their early-Britpop/proto-punk influences proudly on their collective sleeve, channeling the best elements of The Undertones, Stiff Little Fingers, The Boys, & most of all, The Jam.
The latter really comes through in these new tracks, in particular; the band's not aggressive enough to be the Buzzcocks, but are instead the more thoughtful, socially-aware cousins, just a few steps down the block from Paul Weller & co. They manage to get a message into their songs, but they do it with subtlety and without feeling like they have to beat you over the head with it; I'm fairly sure "Genocide"'s about, well, genocide, but there's no strident/ridiculous fist-pumping going on. It took me three listens to realize "I'm Not Surprised" is about ending a war (the one in Iraq, I'm guessing?). This is politico-punk the way the aforementioned Jam and big brothers The Clash were often able to do it.
Through it all, there's the band's trademark sharp-edged (but still melodic) guitars, rock-solid rhythms, and endearingly cracked, embittered vocals, all mashing together to make a hell of a consistently-good sound. And then they get to the murky-yet-catchy chorus of "you've got / blood on your t-shirt / blood on your t-shirt" at the end of "I'm Not Surprised," and I'm left shaking my head in amazement.
The band reports that the new songs'll be ending up on various 7-inches over the course of the next few months -- do yourself a favor and listen now. (And then buy the vinyl when it's out, duh.)
Oh, and in the meantime, the band'll be playing in a couple of weeks (September 18th, to be exact) at Walter's, with The Queers, The Independents, & fellow awesome local boys/girl Something Fierce. Start pleading for permission to leave the house now...
Labels: H-Town News, Musical Crap, Pseudo-Reviews, Public Service Announcements, Things To Do, Things To Download, Things To Heargaijin || Link || E-mail || 0 comments
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