Imperial Teen The Hair the TV the Baby and the Band

Imperial Teen The Hair the TV the Baby and the Band

Beloved co-ed indie-rockers Imperial Teen have a knack for bubblegum pop that’s really quite sharp. As The Hair the TV the Baby and the Band demonstrates, a five-year absence between records hasn’t dulled their ability to write catchy, irreverent songs balanced by heartfelt numbers that romanticise the human condition. Nodding to Phil Spector’s girl group work in the ’60s, "Everything” storms out of the gate, effortlessly encapsulating the confusion of contemporary American life. The San Francisco quartet possess an unabashed sweet tooth, as the brazen "Shim Sham” and the Breeders-influenced chorus of "Everyone Wants to Know” suggest. There’s also subtle kinship with lazy icons such as Pavement, whose VU-inspired brooders have influenced Imperial Teen efforts such as "Baby and the Band” and the haunting "What You Do.” Such moments help Imperial Teen fill a niche all their own on The Hair, one where the giddy party and the comedown rest symbiotically on one fine record. (Merge)