Friday, November 14, 2014

The Pink Teens (Temple Songs) Are Set To Release A New EP: Here's My Early Review

In a wise move, the lads in Temple Songs have decided to re-brand their collective as The Pink Teens. And they are set to release a new EP called -- fittingly enough -- Good Luck, Pink Teens on November 24 via RIP Records.

It's a 9-cut EP so, you know, it's another spillover of riches from these cats.

(I say that as someone who was in on the secret more than 2 years ago when these guys -- as Temple Songs -- had a WHOLE LOT of good music up on Bandcamp for free. No more. But if you missed that buffet of tunes, here's a link from RIP Records that serves as a sort of free "greatest hits" of Temple Songs/The Pink Teens.)

I started blogging about this band slightly more than 2 years ago and then all of a sudden Temples popped up (and I blogged about them too). Temple Songs continued to put incredibly cool music but Temples got a bit more traction with the press. Well, that's okay. Temples are a good band too.

So now that problem of 2 similarly named British bands is over. From here on out it will be The Pink Teens and I hopefully won't even have to mention the group's old moniker many more times.

The Pink Teens make sounds that echo the best bands from your cool(est) friend's record collection. If he -- or she -- made you a mix-tape, the songs on it would be ones that would instantly grab your attention even if they were not already familiar hits to you. That's the best way to describe the effect of the music of The Pink Teens.

At their best moments they capture what sounds like chaos being shaped into meaning, to get a bit freakin' pretentious about it. They sound like the music you'd hear at a wild party as some guys rushed the floor, grabbed some instruments, frantically plugged in, cranked up the amps, and started playing. These tunes are the sounds of songs being found for the first time. There's a sense of excitement here that I just don't hear in many bands these days, frankly.

Good Luck, Pink Teens is a subtle refinement on what's come before. There are still those moments of beauty being pulled out of the mess but things sound slightly more focused here. It takes a lot of skill to sound this unhinged in spots.

Let's start with "Shanghaied" which takes the sort of guitar sound that Lush used so frequently on their first few releases only to turn that sound into a hook that gets repeated with fury over and over. The love child of shoegazers and The Wedding Present is here.

There are next 2 songs with the exact same title. The first "Easter Island Head" is warped goodness -- think the best stuff from Swirlies -- while the second one is shorter and all jagged edges like a Beefheart tunes being sung by Marc Bolan maybe. The vocals here by Jolan Lewis are sublime...as is the tune.

"Spray Ark" has the band going at full tilt in a cut that reminds one -- oddly -- of early Talking Heads. Only early Talking Heads being worked over at a furious clip with drummer Andrew Richardson playing like a madman all the way through.

"More Than I Can Bear" is, quite frankly, one of the very best things these dudes have released so far. Melodic, yearning, and trippy, the cut expands on what they've done before to push the familiar parts of the group's signature style into a new area.

"Cola Girls" is the sound of Squeeze being played by a group of guys who love The Fall. It's the gloriously ramshackle result of such a pairing and it's every bit as catchy as the best stuff by either of those acts.

"Silver Hills/Sleepwalking" starts with a near-metal -- at least like old Sabbath metal -- hook that guitarist Jean Hughes and bassist Dave Hardy ride to abandon before letting the song end in a storm of feedback.

"Coco" is Sonic Youth doing a Syd Barrett ballad while EP closer "Hate" is all the catchy vibes of earlier Temple Songs songs like "I Can't Look After You" revved up to 11. I can't understand pretty every word that Jolan is singing here but it really doesn't matter in the least. The song rocks and it's got a hook.

Good Luck, Pink Teens by The Pink Teens is out on November 24 via RIP Records. It's not luck these guys need but access to eardrums. One listen of "More Than I Can Bear" out to create another wave of Pink Teens fans.

Follow The Pink Teens on their official Facebook page.

Since I've already shared the only (?) track from the new EP that's online up above, here's a fairly recent bit of brilliance from these Manc cats...just remember it's The Pink Teens now and not Temple Songs. Got it?