Live Review from Girls with Guitars #8
1. On Your Sleeve
2. Stay Forever
4. Morning News
6. End of the Day
8. PS Eggs Rule
9. Red Rover
A three-piece consisting of singer/guitarist, bass player and (boy) drummer, Teenage Girls offer an attractive alt rock/indie sound. Driven by Elaine’s rasping Telecaster, Marie’s melodic bass and sexy boots (well the boots made more of a visual than musical contribution but certainly added to the overall vibe) and drummer Bren’s excellent drumming and improbably tight control of his lanky limbs, the chemistry between the three was clearly discernable.
Influenced by 90s girl-fronted US acts such as The Breeders, Throwing Muses, Belly, Veruca Salt at al, the overall sound was rock-angsty, in sharp contrast to the light-heartedness of the band’s in-between banter, which was occasionally hilarious.
Elaine has a nice but not big voice (probably matching Elaine herself who seems super nice but tiny) and could have done with more vocal support from Marie, whose harmonies really added another dimension when she did come in.
Standout tracks were Cancer, Red Rover (which according to Elaine’s very (too!) detailed explanation was based on some weird game she used to play in Canada), new track End of the Day (which Elaine said she’d been trying to get together for years) and for me the best of the bunch Johnston Road, which had real depth and sounds like a bit of a classic.
“Thanks for supporting original music in Hong Kong!” Elaine finished with. No, thank YOU, Teenage Girls! (the band I mean).
– Dan Creffield
當晚第二隊則是風格很不一的 Teenage Girls， 名字聽起來好像是甜美的女生彈奏著結他， 結果出現在眼前的是很酷帥的短髮女生主唱兼結他手！身邊還有低音結他手和鼓手。表演英文歌曲的這隊的節奏十分強而有力，同時，鼓手表演卻鬆容不迫，另外兩位表現也很放鬆，尤其是主唱和結他手，演出時賣力之餘身體跟著音樂擺動，感覺就是音樂與其人融為一體，相信這種格外自如的groove是跟自己創作有關，自創的自己就是最熟悉不過了。
同時，也有跟觀眾有一些互動，如在第九首“Red Rover”演出前跟不知道的觀眾解釋“Red Rover”是個怎麼樣的遊戲和以它作歌曲創作主題。第三首“Cancer”則是覺得當晚 Teenage Girls表演中的signature，節奏強勁但主唱有把令人感到心情舒暢的聲線，所謂的“soothing voice”，這節奏和聲線的組合感覺不算是突兀，而且表演有層次感，由一開始較慢板的節奏繼而推進至副歌中的演唱出的「釋放」，這確是個人很喜歡的一首。
– Phyllis Lau
Live Review from Underground Reunion
1. Red Rover
2. Morning News
3. Stay Forever
Finally, the highly-anticipated Teenage Girls (whom everybody loves, or so I’m told by the stickers that were being liberally handed out) came out on stage to continue the musical festivities. They have a gentler style of rock than most other that night, a sort of hazy, light-rock, fuzzy, indie throwback to the very melodic 1950s rock that’s toe-tapping and makes you want to sway at the same time. There’s a dash of the Ramones on Stay Forever and Morning News sounds a little like the Foo Fighters’ Big Me. Red Rover is probably their catchiest song, with a peppy tune somewhat like the Cranberries, and Jamie sounded a little like a song by awesome ex-local band Who Shot Holga? with its big, chugging opening and settling into a middling pace. Overall, they sound rather like Guided By Voices in the Alien Lanes phase, except with a more r. Perhaps, again, the only thing I would say is that while they did vary their set between midtempo and slower songs, but they could’ve added a faster song for some variety in the set. But even despite this minor quibble of mine, it was terrific to see them play again, and it was equally terrific to have gotten to see so many bands that I never would otherwise have been able to see. Teenage Girls ended the night on a gentle and enjoyable close, thus topping off the night to perfection. Hopefully we’ll see all of these bands play for us again!
— Shashwati Kala
當晚最後的演出單位，是三人樂隊Teenage Girls，他們第二首歌曲 “Morning News”是一首中快板的歌曲，偏pop風，旋律性較強，整首歌十分穩定，outro編得很不俗。第三首的 “Stay Forever”，走的個可愛的風格，是一首感覺很女生的輕快歌曲，歌曲中的bass line很突出，而outro的 “ohhh..”十分入腦，drum beat也十分有趣吸引。他們當晚最後一首歌曲 “Jaime”的chord progress 營造出一種青春的感覺，主唱的歌唱技巧十分不俗，而這種青春感會讓我想像到這首歌曲的acoustic version，應該也會挺不錯聽吧。整體而言，Teenage Girls的音樂真的是十分teenage的感覺，若音樂能用眼看見，我相信會是彩色的音樂，散播快樂的氣氛。
– Sidick Lam
Live review from Fluorescent Hearts live in Hong Kong:
Next up were Teenage Girls who brought it with a blast of energy. Their brash, no-nonsense sound clearly resonated with the crowd who were quickly enamoured and picked up on the energetic vibes. The band played awesome Lo-fi indie music with alluring guitar riffs, mighty drumbeats and catchy melodies with a type of unmistakeable rebellious passion.
Red Rover, their second song in the set, was a catchy tune. It was one of my favourites and was admittedly stuck in my head long after the show. Another standout was the band’s performance of Cancer, a more ‘intense’ song in the words of lead singer Elaine. It had a beautifully intricate melody, though I wish I could have heard the lyrics under all that lo-fi.
Still, all three band members (Elaine, Cal and Bren) worked superbly well together to give us fun music with a raw carefree attitude. They managed to appeal to everyone’s inner teenager, coaxing a little dancing out of a tentative audience.
They gave us noise. They gave us raw energy. They gave us fantastic music!
– Natalia Bodomo
Live review from Underground Rogue Show:
2. Stay Forever
3. Red Rover
4. Morning News
7. Let’s Be Friends
Teenage Girls were easily the most anticipated band of the night. Mostly cause people were wondering just what the hell was up and whether teenage girls were actually gonna show up. Well teenagers did show up, or it might be that i’m old and everyone looks like a teenager to me. Nevertheless they were worth the wait.
Their brand of raw, unpolished goodness, definitely had a bit of The Black Angels with some punk rock attitude thrown in. I have to be honest, I didn’t know what Indie lo-fi rock was, but once they started I almost wanted everything to sound like that. Their first song “Jamie”, had the feel of Wheatus’ “Teenage Dirtbag” while their second was like Cowboy Junkies “Sweet Jane” on Red Bull.
Their front woman Elaine does her best to channel every female band leader there is and she does it to devastating effect. I could sense a bit of Cranberries, and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and it just works!
Their songs flowed together like butter aside from the occasional words between songs it was just solid song after solid song. Their fourth song “Morning News” reminded me a bit of Creep by Radiohead and had an awesomely rocking outro.
Their final songs had some of that Pixies goodness thrown in for good measure and it was by far one of their most polished songs of the night. It was short sweet and got the biggest cheer of the night so far.
You could tell there was a little nervousness on the night, but I hope to see them again soon, they were awesome, and deserve to be playing regularly. It also gives me the wonderful excuse of getting to say “I’m gonna go and check out Teenage Girls tonight, anyone wanna come?”
— Jon “The Riot” Lee