Not to date myself, but my college years were defined by the bands on pop punk labels like Lookout!, Epitaph and Fat Wreck Chords. Sloppy power chords, second (or third) rate Beach Boys harmonies and the occasional chime of surf guitar were all I listened to, outside of three rapping Jews from New York.
Most of those labels crammed twenty or thirty bands onto year-end comps and offered the disc up for like five bucks. Normally they were album cuts and kitschy covers, but it was also a way to find new bands without dropping 20 bucks on an unknown band (yes, we had to pay for music when I was a butter headed youth).
Kitchener’s Teen Violence, is exactly the type of band I loved finding deep amongst the big names. Their new self-titled 7″ is less than ten-minutes, but it sparkles with sunny pop melodies, harmonies and ’50s radio goodness.
The subject matter is tried and true; the type of puppy love and longing that frame countless tales of holding hands and slow dances, but anything else would seem out of place. Call it derivative if you want, but I’d just prefer to tip my cap to the band and be thankful that they’ve recorded 10 minutes of music that can clear up grey skies and mend broken hearts.
Every so often, we need blind optimism and hope. The fact it comes in the form of sing along choruses and crunchy power pop hooks is just icing on the cake.