Torontoâ€™s Teenage Kicks is releasing their new full-length album Spoils of Youth, following their previous EP releases such as 2012â€™s Be On My Side and 2011â€™s Rational Anthems. This new release is a swaggering and soulful opus, laden with ten powerful tracks.
Brothers and band mates, Peter and Jeff van Helvoort attribute the themes and mood of this album to a tumultuous year and a half of making it. The result is something more hopeful and honest, giving listeners an album in the hopes of eliciting an emotional response through the music.
Opening track, â€śBrooklyn Bridgeâ€ť is the first indicator of this theme. Starting off sounding somber and melancholic, it eventually launches into unbridled and anthemic territory. Peter van Helvoort demonstrates the raw power of emotion in his vocals. It does what an opening track should do â€“ gives the listeners a hook, a glimpse into what the rest of the album has to offer.
The following nine tracks follow suit, particularly â€śLife, Death & a Little Bit of Self Respectâ€ť. An empowering ode to not letting anyone tear you down, Peter van Helvoort croons lyrics like â€śquit feeling sorry for yourself; donâ€™t let anyone shut your mouthâ€ť. The lyrics in each of the tracks provide a glimpse into the process of Teenage Kicksâ€™ last year and a half.
â€śThe finished album is the sum of multiple factors: an unusable record made in West Hollywood, failed relationships, lost members, bad timing/worse luck, and a hard dose of reality that was found in a place where reality does not come easily,â€ť stated on the bandâ€™s website, providing background to the central theme of the album.
While the songs and emotions have specific meaning to the van Helvoorts themselves, the lyrics and feel are universal. Itâ€™s the kind of record that anyone can personalize and connect with.
It is musically diverse as well, relying on more than heavy power-rock riffs. The song I would consider the ballad of the project, â€śStone and Undulationâ€ť, switches up the style and provides an ebb and flow. It lurches forward, keeping up stylistically with the rest of the tracks, but remains much slower and solemn.
Overall, Teenage Kicks accomplishes what they set out to do â€“ they made a hopeful and emotionally driven record, while staying true to their roots and style of past releases. The product is an evident maturation in a band that remains cohesive in their style, but knows thereâ€™s room to grow and feel the emotions that drive them to continue.
While the album isnâ€™t slated to be released until April 29th, Teenage Kicks have released two tracks on the upcoming album on Bandcamp, â€śDigging Up Old Bonesâ€ť and â€śHoudiniâ€ť.
Â©Â Megan Rach, Music Vice
Internet Link: Teenage Kicks
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