Teenage Girls is a rock quartet existing in Wilkes-Barre, PA, that has succeeded in formulating a sound that encompasses all the great things about rock. Critics and fans alike enjoy the band's intelligent lyrics and Rock and Roll mannerisms and maneuverings. Essentially, Teenage Girls exist as rock and roll. Their style and live performances have been described as "controlled pop chaos." Others have referred to them as "a post-modern social blitzkrieg that laughs at angst, openly disdains the radio industry and engages all things rock." We're not quite sure what that means, but it sounds laudingly pretentious and we're sure that we love pretense.
The band recently released its brand new single “Summer of Breaking Up” with the B-side "The Untwist" – recently recorded with Philadelphia, Pennsylvania’s Grammy-nominated producer David Ivory. After seeing the band live at a Y-100 night at Philly’s Grape Street Pub, Ivory invited its members to his studio for a free session, and the rest will be history.
The release "Summer of Breaking Up" was met with immediate affection from Northeastern Pennsylvania radio stations. "Summer" has been receiving airplay on the No. 1 Top 40 station 98.5 WKRZ as well as 97.9 The X (modern rock) and 102.3 The Mountain (modern and classic rock).
Teenage Girls is also still riding the success of MTV’s “Lit Riffs” compilation. In September of 2004, TG was invited to cover Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” for inclusion on the soundtrack, which includes nine of the other most influential songs in rock history. The band tracked in one day at Saturation Acres Studios in Danville, Pa.
Bucking tradition, the band followed its highly successful The Failed EP release with an all-electronic record in August of 2004. Teenage Girls posted a downloadable, 14-track LP titled The Unbearable Likeability of a Man Called Me – a collection of vocalist Bob Zanicky’s most famous on-stage ramblings and comedy. Like TG’s previous soundclick.com works, the tracks sat at the No. 1 position in their respective categories for months.
The band's second full-length CD, The Initial Assault LP: The Art of Friendship won acclaim for a solid year after its release. Praise for The Initial Assault has ranged from number one hit singles for "Kissing Ugly Boys," "Exactabox" and "Dry" on soundclick.com to a heightened interest by both indie and major labels to work with the band. The band is presently testing the European market after being contacted by numerous English labels. Further, Teenage Girls recently won a national Clear Channel and Volkswagen sponsored "battle of the bands" and was selected to open for Rusted Root and Mike Doughty, formerly of Soul Coughing, at Temple University. The industry and crowd reaction was splendid. Mike Doughty was so impressed that he invited the band's drummer to share the stage with him at a few industry showcases in New York.
We'll end with the following facts. Teenage Girls is a fury of pure pop bliss on and off stage. It engages an audience like no other band in America signed or unsigned. Many who've seen them have openly admitted their dislike for indie-pop when entering the venue, but have left feeling invigorated and excited about the showmanship and song-craft displayed by these four future icons of rock.
Bob Zanicky - breath
Mike Russo - guitars
Matt Buhler - bass
Gene Padden - drums
Singles released in April 2005: "The Untwist" and "Summer of Breaking Up." Produced and recorded by David Ivory at Dylanava Studios in Philadelphia, PA
MTV's "Lit Riffs" soundtrack, released 2004. A cover of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" recorded at Saturation Acres in Danville, PA.
"The Unbearable Likeability of a Man Called Me" - Available for download on www.soundclick.com
"The Failed EP" - released Halloween 2003, recorded at Saturation Acres in Danville, PA. Downloads, streams at www.myspace.com, www.soundclick.com
"The Initial Assault LP: The Art of Friendship" - released 2002, recorded at Saturation Acres in Danville, PA. Downloads, streams at www.myspace.com, www.soundclick.com
Live show review
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LIVE REVIEW Teenage Girls put on the best live performance I have seen in a long time. Going int...LIVE REVIEW
Teenage Girls put on the best live performance I have seen in a long time.
Going into this situation I was already a Teenage Girls fan, having listened to their debut (sic) album, The Initial Assault: The Art of Friendship many times over and downloaded a live performance via their website of Biggest Fan.
Fresh off their successful showcase at this year's Dewey Beach Music Conference, Teenage Girls offered a packed house of future fans at Grape Street Pub some high-octane energy that rarely shows its face on today's emo-soaked stages. The band - looking every part of the displaced, quirky friends you had in high school - not only kept the music interesting, but also kept thier bodies in wild motion to the music. Bassist Matt Buhler and guitarist Mike Russo even went so far as to choreograph a little throwback to the 80's headbanging.
As the intro music began, Bob Zanicky (Teenage Girls' vocalist) took the stage - looking every bit the professional businessman - examing the crowd and passing on the information that he was, in fact, in charge. The music carried on for about 3 minutes, a bit long for my liking. Finally, Zanicky takes the mic and begins their first song "Dry."
During breaks, Zanicky introduces the next song with a few linear notes to kickstart our thought process in preparation for the band's next exciting number.
One particular song was "The Failed Pop Punk Experiement." Zanicky goes to explain that if his band were a power pop-punk band (which it's not), their songs would sound like this. The band even puts on their best Sugarcult/Blink 182 personas (complete with collective jumping during the breakdown).
Lyrics from this potential hit include:
Uh-oh here we go
with melodies that I stole
from some band that stole them first
I'm pop-punk's Fred Durst
For the band's finale, they performed "How Callous Is The Sound (Biggest Fan)," the lead track on their debut album.
The song is pure genius. It's what every musician wants to say but fears the wrath of its subject matter: the record industry. The chorus, an anthem in its own right, has audience members screaming "kill the A&R!"
As the set comes to a close, Zanicky has shed his sports jacket and tie, the band has had their 30-minute workout and the audience is left dumbfounded.
In this business it's all about looks and hooks. Teenage Girls have both - executing both very well.
Teenage Girls will be showcasing at Grape Street Pub on Tuesday, November 4.
Another live review
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Teenage Girls... no it wasn't an all girl band or a bunch of guys who liked much younger women (alth...Teenage Girls... no it wasn't an all girl band or a bunch of guys who liked much younger women (although there was a certain young girl in the crowd that seemed to really enjoy their performance). No, this foursome from Philly banged out an incredible set of powerful, indie-pop tinged, but not cheesy pop/punk, rock-and-roll. Sneaky lyrics that make ya' think from a maniacally animated lead vocalist looking like the Mighty Mighty Bosstones and climbing around ala Love Seed Mama Jump. Add one driven rhythm section; a bassist right in the pocket, not to mention the best sounding drumkit of the night... it was solid.
Yeah, I knew what you're thinking, "Jeez, 'Teenage Girls' what a ploy... I'm not even going to pay attention to them 'cause it's so not-cool." Man, I wanted to think that so bad it wasn't funny, but I was blown away by the performance these guys put on, not to mention they were absolutely professional musicians. I had to ask them for a CD, and while the intensity of their performance is a bit diluted by recording, it's an extremely well produced recording for an independent band. Lyrically creative if a bit over-angry at the whole record biz, but who can blame them? Aside from the bad schoolgirl cover art, the songs really come through and give you a basic idea of what the band is about... but to really "get it" you have to see them live. Check out www.teenagestyle.com and if you mistakenly go to another website make sure you sweep your hard drive!
TG on "Lit Riffs"
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S.A.M. gets 'Lit' by Joe Student While Badlees manger Chris Fetchko and the band's members are ...S.A.M. gets 'Lit'
by Joe Student
While Badlees manger Chris Fetchko and the band's members are currently focused on the local launch of Saturation Acres Music and Recording Company, the label is primed for a larger, more national debut in late June when it releases the "Lit Riffs" soundtrack.
On the CD, the group and other local artists will cover songs which have had literary tales written about them by high-profile writers.
The collection of stories will be published in a novel that will be marketed by MTV Books. The soundtrack will act as a companion to the collection. The concept was co-created by filmmaker Matt Miele and Fetchko while the latter worked at Capitol Records in the late 1990s.
"Once I knew I was leaving we pulled the plug on it and I took it with me," Fetchko said. "We have been able to get some very good writers involved. Eventually we sold the project to MTV Books... They have taken the lead on the press end of it."
The list of story contributors includes Neil Strauss of the New York Times, author Heidi Julavitz and late Rolling Stone magazine music critic Lester Bangs, whose story on Rod Stewart's "Maggie May" initiated the idea for the whole project.
"We thought it would be great to do with other songs," Fetchko said. The Badlees have recorded the cover version of "Maggie May." That single, the album's first, will be released to national radio in late May.
The launch event at the Virgin Megastore in New York City is scheduled for June 24.
The track list for the "Lit Riffs" soundtrack, the original artist and the act that is covering the song.
"Maggie May" (Rod Stewart)- The Badlees
"Won't Back Down" (Tom Petty) - The Cellarbirds
"Norwegian Wood" (The Beatles) - Bret Alexander
"Mama Tried" (Merle Haggard) - Joe Charles
"Everlong" (Foo Fighters) - Jared Campbell
"The Message" (Grand Master Flash)- Katsu
"Rio" (Duran Duran) - Alex Seier
" I Found A Reason" (Lou Reed) - Eric James & k8
"Hallelujah" (Leonard Cohen) - Teenage Girls
"Spirit In The Night" (Bruce Springsteen) - AJ
Collection of Critical Quotes
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A collection of quotes if you don’t have time to read the reviews … “In the end, The Initial Assa...A collection of quotes if you don’t have time to read the reviews …
“In the end, The Initial Assault LP is a finely-nuanced piece of work that should win thumbs-up from both emo-geeks and rock-nodders everywhere. On the basis of their solidly-recorded and tight-as-fuck album, this bunch deserves to be big.”
- Splendid E-Zine
“I like this band and not just for the songs dripping with sarcasm. They could be everything they seem to abhor - huge artists with lots of Top 40 radio play. I think they may be that good. Several tracks stood out to me as being expressive while remaining sing-able and kept my foot tapping. The last group that I can say made me laugh, think and hum at the same time was Pearl Jam. I hope the guys from Teenage Girls take that as a compliment.”
“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.”
“The production is also amazingly crisp for an independent release, so thanks to Teenage Girls, it may not be so long before we actually hear some good songs on the radio for once. But as for now, I’m sure they’re quite content with sitting as one of the most exciting indie-rock prospects on the global scene that acts like They Might Be Giants, Weezer and Jimmy Eat World have paved.”
“The more you listen to Teenage Girls and the lyrics in their great songs the more you are going to understand. Wonderful lyrics, backed by vocals that are so moving you are sure to feel the bittersweet story lines, all complimented by superb instrumentation.”
“Call it what you will, Teenage Girls put it together with a style that seems to be missed by so many trying to do the same thing today. A good buy, and a new indie rock classic.”
Teenage Girls are a very tight musical unit that dishes out an amalgam of power pop and rock with exceptional instrumentation, nice hooks and high-powered vocals. Teenage Girls seem to be headed in the right direction and I don't think it will be too long before the boys in the band land a major record deal. I'll be sure to keep you posted.
- Citizens’ Voice
“Assault is, dare I say, a thoroughly commercial product. Perhaps TG should call those kids back in, before they do something rash.”
- Jim Santo’s Demo Universe
“All around, "The Initial Assault LP" is a very fine effort. While lots of the stuff of this genre ends up sounding too bland and generic to really matter, TG sure sound as if they're doing something right.”
“How can you in one second bust on the music industry and then in the next right radio-friendly pop songs that the music industry would drop some massive saliva over? Well if that`s intentional then they`re geniuses.”
“Perhaps the saddest commentary about the state of original music in Northeastern Pennsylvania is that though indie rock band the Teenage Girls consider the area to be its base, the band does not play the region's club circuit very often, instead gigging more frequently in Philadelphia. A quick listen to the group's work on "The Initial Assault LP: The Art of Friendship"shows why Philly audiences have much to appreciate.”
A recent set list, of our own material.
Over and Over
Summer of Breaking Up
Failed Pop Punk
Take Me With You
Teenage Girls comfortably fills any 1-hour time frame with a rotating set of material as well as the acclaimed spoken word of vocalist Bob Zanicky
There are no upcoming dates at this time.