Release Date: Mar 18, 2008
Record label: Beggars XL
Genre(s): Indie, Rock, Pop
On their debut album Reality Check it quickly becomes clear that there are three things French trio the Teenagers firmly disbelieve in: subtlety, propriety, and variety. Let's break them down one at a time. Their sound is filled with clattering drums and drum machines, clanging guitars and huge choruses with shouted hooks. Like a raunchy (and very French) stadium rock band in miniature, they kick up a lot of noise and never stray from being completely obvious at all times.
Question: Is it possible for anyone to take you seriously as a band when your aesthetic revolves around puerile descriptions of sex? Answer: It doesn’t matter. People who like the music will say it’s supposed to be ironic. People who hate it will say it’s crass and stupid. And who cares either way? The three Frenchmen in the London-based Teenagers survive on this disconnect.
If this weren’t such a disingenuous, cynical and generally creepy record, it would be something I could really get behind. The French trio has an undeniable talent for hook choruses replicating that innocent charm of the 80s, and the synth-driven melodies are effective for their updated John Hughes soundtrack concept. But it’s all undercut by the pervasive feeling that it’s a flippant piss take.