Published Jul 13, 2017Weekend nights on the strip. The quiet streets at dawn. Social media narcissism.
A collection of post-punk summer anthems, new Teenanger album Teenager threads together the (in)vulnerability of young adolescence with nostalgia for a pre-cellular era. The record mirrors the simplicity of the aimless drives of one's youth intermingling with 1980s horror film scores, but is thoroughly of the present time, lyrically.
Chris Swimmings' voice is a snarling and deadpan reincarnation of Calvin Johnson of Beat Happening, whose motto and goal to "explod[e] the teenage underground into passionate revolt against the corporate ogre" feels even more relevant on the 13-track Teenager. "Hey Siri, table for four," in "Media Overload," is one of many jabs at our technological alienation; "Wychwood Heights," named after the upper class neighbourhood in Toronto, matches a predatory guitar riff with a jittery clap track to convey something unsettling.
The entirety of the album is a dance-worthy lament for our late capitalist condition, and synthed-out lullaby "The Night Shift" brings it to its thematic apex. Here, the band let up on their harder edge, as the pop ballad reveals a sensitive underbelly to the youth culture that stirs the other tracks, taking its listener to a John Hughes school dance.
Teenager will ground you in the present summer, but if you let it, it'll take you back in time, too. (Telephone Explosion)