Teenangers Frights is an old-school kick of an album, swift and hard-hitting. It’s frequently difficult to understand the words coming out of lead singer Nick Littlemores mouth, and most of the songs hover below the two-minute range. Lets just say that Teenanger is an acquired taste, and that you might be more open to the loud and raucous offerings on Frights if youre in the mood to punch someoneor remember what punk sounded like before the likes of Blink-182 made it slick and commercial.
Tracks like SLW and Cops But Not sound most like a mishmash of lost 1970s Sex Pistols tracks that were just rediscovered in a basement somewhere and dusted off for a new generation, one not quite old enough to be familiar with the original material. Littlemore and his bandmate, Phillipa Brown, have an admirable amount of energy, but the pace of the album rarely varies, giving listeners ears little respite from the barrage of drums and simple chord patterns. Littlemores lyrics remain unintelligible and opaque, and it becomes hard to distinguish one song from the next as the album progresses.
While Littlemore and Brown follow the conventions of the genre to a T, their strict loyalty to the gods of fast strumming doesnt allow much room for innovation. In a rare moment of novelty in Funeral March, Teenanger invokes the likes of Chuck Berry and other early purveyors of rock and roll. Its a fun romp, but its over very quickly.
Ultimately, Frights is a solid effort by competent musicians, but Littlemore and Brown make it too easy for the uninitiatedthose who dont hold the original brattiness of punk near and dear to their heartsto pass right on by, hearing little that they can connect with and cherish. Theres a reason the punk sound eventually evolved, exploring other feelings besides anger.
Essential Tracks: SLW”, Cops But Not, and “Funeral March”