A horrible hack

Teenage Cool Kids

Foreign Lands

Year Released: 2009
Format: LP
Label: Narshardaa
Reviewed by Andy Malcolm on Jul 31, 2009
I was so excited to get hold of this album, and it completely lived up to all expectations. Teenage Cool Kids have absolutely nailed everything on this album, there is barely a moment from start to finish where it falls down, and you are left with almost 40 minutes of indie rock perfection. Ok, so there are plenty of points on this record where it is almost scarey as to how similar it sounds to Built to Spill, but now that Built to Spill are a bunch of old men playing 20 minute long Neil Young covers, someone has to step into the breach and play classic indie rock with the spirit of yoof, someone who isn't Dinosaur Jr anyway.

The Cool Kids revel in creating TUNES. Banging tunes, each one lovingly crafted, crammed with glorious melodies, sneaky little touches, and those super vocals that will always bring to mind Meneguar, but who's counting? Perhaps the only down moment on this LP is when they bounce out of the soaring "Tilting at Windmills" and into the three minute instrumental of "Exile in La Mancha". At this point, TCK haven't paused for breath, we're 4 or 5 minutes in and it may have been one long song so far which has branched off in 3 different directions. Give me a moment to catch up, TCK. Eventually it winds down, and we are then presented with the rest of the LP in more palatable chunks.

TCK summon up their best moments on the mind blowing summer pop of "Foreign Lands", replete with "woo oo oohs" and so much catchiness that I feel obliged to make a swine flu reference. And then there is "Speaking in Tongues", of which I can do little other than bestow superlatives. Wonderful, wonderful stuff. In between these two is "Crossing the Desert as a Stream", and this is as good a triumvurate of consecutive songs on LP as I could care to name in quite some while.

Look: Teenage Cool Kids have made the indie rock record of the summer. It's even better than "Farm"! Am I allowed to say that without being kicked off the internet?
Recommended record by Collective Zine!

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