Published Feb 27, 2012Garage rock is a label without context these days. Luckily for Teenanger, it's a label they reject. "We just consider ourselves a punk band," says guitarist Jon Schouten without hesitation.
"That's the headshop version of the music we play," jokes drummer Steve Sidoli. "It's like if you were to explain what we sounded like to somebody who only knows music based on t-shirts you could find at the mall, you'd say that we sound somewhere between the MC5 and the Stooges."
But at a time when Dave Grohl accepts his band's most recent Grammy nod with a rant about recording Wasting Light to tape in his garage, bigger concerns over authenticity start to arise.
"[Recording to tape] doesn't mean that it's good at all. Some of the best music that's coming out of Toronto right now is done by people completely electronically," continues Sidoli. "Playing the same old Foo Fighters song in a garage as opposed to a really expensive studio doesn't mean that it's any better or any worse."
Teenanger relied on the help of company they've made along the way to finish Frights. "We met [producer Howie Beck] through a friend. He saw us play and was like, 'You guys are great, why don't you come record at my house?'"
The result is an album that walks a fine line between both punk and garage rock, ditching much of the band's earlier emphasis on bluesy scales in favour of straightforward aggression. Its sound meets Toronto somewhere in the middle; both geographically and musically, it's midway between Michigan and New York.
"For this record we just wanted to write a fuckin' ripper," says Schouten. And they did.