Lord Rutledge - Now Wave Magazine
Equal parts Cheap Trick, Clash, Slade, Sweet, Beach Boys, Nick Gilder, Flamin' G
A while back I was wondering when I was finally gonna hear some good pop again. I spent the year 2005 listening to little else but garage, trash, and punk rock n' roll stuff. So while it was definitely a good year for new music in my world, hardly any of that new music was of the pop variety. And you know me: I gotta have my pop. I like harmonies, handclaps, and real purty melodies. I like catchy choruses, velvety vocals, and melodic guitar solos. I often write obscenity-laced letters of protest to music magazines that fail to include the first 20/20 LP in their lists of the 100 greatest albums of all-time. I've got a Material Issue poster on my left wall to go with the AC/DC one on my right. And my failure to purchase a sufficient supply of new pop releases in the latter months of last year may have done irreparable damage to my soul.
But man oh man, has the pop ever returned to my life in 2006! Some of it I bought (Baby Shakes, Lyme Regis), and some of it magically appeared in my mailbox (Rocket, The Returnables). In the latter category is the latest single from the Teenage Frames, which is currently #1 with a bullet on the Lord Rutledge Pop Chart.
Terms like "pop-punk" and "powerpop", which usually bring to mind MTV pretty boys and sissified Big Star knockoffs, don't really do justice to a band like the Teenage Frames. The Teenage Frames are a rock n' roll band, period. The group's snappy blend of sticky-sweet radio hit pop and rockin' glammy punk brings to mind unheralded '90s greats like the Beat Angels and Trash Brats. In short, the feel of the band's music is 100 percent FUN. It's what you listen to when you're having a good time - or when you wish you were having a good time! Equal parts Cheap Trick, Clash, Slade, Sweet, Beach Boys, Nick Gilder, Flamin' Groovies, Raspberries, and Ramones, the music of the Teenage Frames is a high-spirited and refreshingly un-trendy celebration of all things pop. Bargain-priced at just $4, Let's Break Up! is chock full of fat, juicy hooks and melodies so catchy that I often find myself whistling them while I'm pissing at my workplace urinal. All three songs are expertly-crafted and further bolstered by handclaps, peppy drum rolls, and Frankie Delmane's nasally but melodious vocals. The title track, a punky rock n' roll number a la Teenage Head, delivers big with a sing-songy, super-fun chorus. But "So Inconsiderate" is the real "hit" in my book. It works a crunchy mid-tempo groove and concludes with a sublime burst of harmonies. The zingy, contagious "What A Way To Go!" is a whirlwind of effervescent energy. This song in particular gets stuck in my head at the strangest times - usually when my pants are hanging around my ankles for one reason or another.
I could maybe see some people claiming that this disc is too pop for their tastes. Hmm, "too pop"...ain't that kinda like saying it's "too" sunny outside or that a chick's tits are "too" big? Bring on the next single!
March 2, 2006