2. Morning News
3. Stay Forever
5. On Your Sleeve
7. Red Rover
9. End of the Day
In the course of writing this review I found I was using some of the same words a lot: catchy, anthemic, melodic … I was even tempted to incorporate a shortcut system – catchy (C), anthemic (A), melodic (M)!
In defence of the shortcomings of my vocabulary however, listening to this excellent and ambitious new 10-tracker by singer, songwriter and guitarist Elaine, Marie on bass and backing vocals and Bren on drums, AKA Teenage Girls, you can’t blame me too much – there are some tracks here which are more infectious than H1N1.
It also made me go back and listen to some of those fabulous 1990s tracks from the likes of The Breeders, Throwing Muses, Belly, Veruca Salt and Hole, etc. While clearly influenced by those primarily US, 90s girl-fronted acts, Teenage Girls are definitely doing their own thing.
There’s some very nice writing, singing, playing, creatively arranged guitars, all anchored by rock-solid drumming. That grungy, punky guitar sound, contrasted by the delicacy and sweetness of Elaine’s angelic voice really works for me. I have to say there were a couple of times though that I just wanted her to let go and scream it out. Go for it Elaine, give us a bit of raw emotion!
Regardless, this is a sterling effort, although having gigged these tracks for years it’s no wonder they have nailed them on Good Day, Good Night.
For old buggers like me, still mired in the 1990s, it’s a source of comfort that there’s a new generation of young people still carrying a torch for the catchy, uncomplicated honest, rock songs so popular in those times. The anti-Bieber league, if you like.
Jamie is a melodic, catchy anthemic love song to the lucky titular Jamie and a great way to kick off. Morning News is a sweet, melodic little track, while Stay Forever has a punky intro and feel on guitar, and driving, radio-friendly chorus.
Johnston is the pick of the bunch for me, sweet, rocky, anthemic, tearing at the heartstrings, the band at their best. A love song to Hong Kong, I can listen to this one all day. It was the standout track for me when I saw them live some months ago and sounds just as good on tape. And they made a nice quirky little video for it which you can watch on YouTube.
On Your Sleeve is catchy and bouncy, while Cancer is another standout track, refreshingly slower paced, with a strong melody, great harmonies and a beautiful, big sound with some real pathos.
Red Rover is yet another standout, rocky and memorable, while with a great name, Pepperoni opens with another fat riff, and a chorus of “you call me crazy but it’s no use” – love it. End of the Day kicks off with a classic 90s riff to before going into another classic slice of melodic rock before closing track Comet is big (C), (A) featuring a nice edgy riff and melancholy (M) – awesome. (Sorry, had to get the system in somewhere.)
The band humorously describe their music as “lo-fi dim-sum indie pop-rock seasoned with style, sass and a dash of guilty sex appeal” and who am I to disagree with that? I’m really looking to hearing their new material, live or on record, and it would really be great to see Elaine cut loose and show us what she can really do.
– Dan Creffield
You can find Teenage Girls’ Good Day, Good Night at bandcamp.