Teenage Girls
"The Initial Assault LP: The Art Of Friendship"

(PFP Music 2002)Teenage Girls - The Initial Assault LP: The Art Of Friendship

Rock bands survive on misnomers. By now, everyone knows that The Barenaked Ladies aren't women at all (and, luckily, not bare naked) and Queens of the Stone Age aren't royalty or queens (as far as anyone knows) at all. So why shouldn't Teenage Girls be the same? Not only are the band not teenagers but they're not girls either! But what Teenage Girls are are a strong rock band with a well written and performed album in "The Initial Assault LP: The Art Of Friendship."

Putting their best indie rock foot forward, Teenage Girls get your attention even from the first track, "How Callous Is The Sound (Biggest Fan)," in which the band's vocalist, Bob Zanicky, sings "Here we go fucking up the radio/calling all the kids out to kill the A&R/everybody thought it was a brilliant statement/when I killed the DJ at the local station." Catchy with its chorus of "I'm calling all the kids out/Kill the A&R," the song stands out with its stand alone single strength. The band tones it down a bit for the slower, slightly softer yet still guitar intense songs "American Beauty" and "Kissing Ugly Boys (in callow fields)." The heavy drum sound and squealing guitars of "Exactabox" is a mix of the band's previously heard softer side and more energy-driven sound while the harder rock verses of "Dry" make the chorus stand out more.

On the aptly titled "My First Ballad," Zanicky croons "critics please/take it easy/this is my first ballad/I hoped you wouldn't notice/and hold me up to ridicule/for incompetence" before adding "dumb dooby dooby dum-dum." Teenage Girls seem to like playing with speed as they start off slow on "Come: she's lost her way" then, with lead in power chords, speed up and then slow down again. "Man's Man" stands out with indie/garage rock instrumentation and harkens back to "My First Ballad" with a chorus of "la dee da dee la dee da da." On the midtempo "the sounD of your voIce oNe Week before your deAth" Teenage Girls still deliver a full-on rock sound and then, after a short audio clip, deliver an unlisted final track that closes the album with up tempo rock 'n' roll.

With memorable lyrics and melodies and a tight sound, "The Initial Assault LP" is, undoubtedly, worth more than one listen as you yell in unison with the recording "Kill the A&R." And while the album is almost evenly split between softer songs and harder indie rock, the split should please a variety of listeners.

A-

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