tue 27/02/2024

Album: Teen Jesus and the Jean Teasers - I Love You | reviews, news & interviews

Album: Teen Jesus and the Jean Teasers - I Love You

Album: Teen Jesus and the Jean Teasers - I Love You

Likeable debut from Aussie outfit which combines punkish bio with a feminist edge

Clockwise from top left, vocalist Anna Ryan, guitarist Scarlett McKahey, drummer Neve van Boxsel, and bassist Jaida Stephenson

Canberra band Teen Jesus and the Jean Teasers continue the recent tradition of Australian indie bands having unwieldy comedy names. However, their music, as laid out on their debut album, has higher aspirations, bridging their scuzzy punkin’ roots and a larger sound, loosely somewhere between The Breeders and Foo Fighters, yet very much their own thing.

Sometimes they sail too far into mainstream rock for this writer but, overall, they win the day. The best of I Love You tends towards either catchy new wavey power pop guitar or snarling, sneering numbers vehemently raging at mistreatment in love/sex. Often a combination of both. There’s also a sweet sideline in acoustic songs, notably the broken “Never Saw It Coming” (“Since you took a piece of me I haven’t felt good again… I’d leave your bedroom with half of me still left in there”) and the delicious, girl-ish harmonies of “Your House My House”.

Mostly, though, the vocals of frontperson Anna Ryan are all about righteous stridency, as on the whopping singles “AHHHH!” and “Lights Out, and, especially, the closing fury of “Kissy Kissy, which starts, “I know your type, overconfident arsehole…”. While these have snifters of Green Day in their genes, Teen Jesus are also capable of chunky rock riffing, as on the stonkin’ “Treat Me Better”, or toning things to a funkier, less in-your-face groove, as on “I Don’t Want It”.

There are certainly unloveable moments, notably the plodding single “Salt”, featuring Melbourne surf-punks The Grrogans, which comes across as an over-calculated attempt to create a grunge-goes-stadium anthem. But, for the most part, Teen Jesus’ music emanates an unforced exhilaration at singing out their truth, and has the tunes to carry it off. I can also attest to the fact that they’re great live, so catch them if you can, when they come to the UK at the start of next year.

Below: watch the video for "AHHHH!" by Teen Jesus and the Jean Teasers

Add comment

newsletter

Get a weekly digest of our critical highlights in your inbox each Thursday!

Simply enter your email address in the box below

View previous newsletters