Release Date: Jun 9, 2015
Record label: Bar/None Records
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Pop, New Wave/Post-Punk Revival, Synth Pop
Teen Men is more than a moniker for the four-piece comprised of The Spinto Band’s Nick Krill and Joe Hobson and visual artists Albert Birney and Catharine Maloney. Taking their name from an ad in a 1960s Playboy, the band embodies a blend of mischief and innocent curiosity like a coming-of-age teenager’s hands and eyes on a men’s magazine. With their self-titled full-length debut, Teen Men are displaying that youthful state of mind that they allowed to linger long after they were eligible to vote.
Named for a phrase from a '60s ad in Playboy magazine, Teen Men crafts melodically sweet electro-pop that grew from a one-off public-access TV audio/video project by singer/guitarist Nick Krill and guitarist Joe Hobson of indie dance-rockers the Spinto Band. With visual artists Albert Birney and Catharine Maloney contributing interactive video to early sessions and keyboards to the developing album material, the foursome inspired each other in an artistic give and take that's resulted in a free-spirited, smile-inducing eponymous debut. Their experimental approach to classic, melody-driven songwriting with synth pop instrumentation begets an infectious indie pop that falls somewhere between a chilled-out Fun.
Teen Men is a four-piece collective featuring musicians Nick Krill and Joe Hobson, who have musical day jobs as part of the Spinto Band, and visual artists Albert Virney and Catharine Maloney. Appropriately, their live shows apparently feature a synchronized-to-the-music video presentation that “provides an interactive platform for the band members and audience.” The band even takes care on their website to note that their YouTube videos are different from the interactive concert videos. This sounds like a very interesting concert experience, but in this review we’re limited to the recorded music.
Delaware’s Teen Men feature two members of indie dance rock mainstays The Spinto Band, Nick Krill and Joe Hobson, along with visual artists Albert Birney and Catharine Maloney. By consciously incorporating a multimedia focus into their new project, Krill and Hobson treat their new band’s compositions like canvases, daubing and layering on playful synthpop. On their self-titled debut, the quartet build out eccentric, pleasing melodies, but they largely stick to the same handful of pastel pigments where an occasional stark contrast might elicit a stronger response.
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When two members of one up-and-coming outfit spin off and start another band with similar aspirations, it suggests that the musicians in question may be expanding their bets. In fact, Teen Men have a better than average chance of surpassing the success attained so far by the mothership, A.K.A. The Spinto Band, given the sparkling, upbeat melodies and a penchant for catchy rhythms that ought to sustain ample time on the dance floor.