Adrian Teacher and the Subs Terminal City
Published May 27, 2016The assured voice of Apollo Ghosts and COOL TV, Adrian Teacher's been pumping out music as quickly as his speedy power-pop tunes would have you expect. Though the Vancouver vocalist took a folksier, more acoustic turn on last year's solo debut, Sorta Hafta, here he goes electric for a sharper, more focused collection. Terminal City dips into punk traditions, with short songs that are economically packed with hooks and a thorough political message.
Teacher's album-long look into (and fight against) the gentrification of Vancouver gives Terminal City a strong sense of purpose. By quickly committing, it anchors the lyrics for a varied yet uniformly catchy listen. As is Teacher's wont, the album is filled with quirky, infectious hooks — look no further than the cheery background vocals on "Victory Square" — and features welcome explorations into Murmurs-era R.E.M. rock on "I Feel the Same" and sexy, sax-y funk on "Forget America."
Tackling Vancouver's gentrification with a smile and an upbeat riff, Teacher's lyrics bring a punk-like workmanship to his guitar rock jangle, and make the songs feel full and satisfying despite their short length. Let's hope that the names of the album and its final track, "Be Prepared to Stop," aren't foreshadowing an early retirement for the Subs — at least not just after finding their footing. (You've Changed)