Feel The Sound

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Feel The Sound is the fifth album by veteran San Francisco popsters Imperial Teen. Formed in 1996 by ex-Faith No More keyboard man Roddy Bottum and fellow Bay Area cohort Lynn Truell, it’s been 5 years since the release of their last album, The Hair the TV the Baby & the Band (a typically long gestation for these Californians). The long gap seems to have done the band no harm at all though as they’ve returned with a sound as vital as ever. “Last To Know” is perhaps the highlight of the album, its oom-pah verse is only bettered by the fittingly striking chorus. “Over His Head” is an exhilarating romp which plays like the soundtrack to an action scene of a 1980s action comedy (starring James "Jim" Belushi and Charles Grodin…in my head). Oddly though, despite the comparison i just made to a film from the 1980s, the album sounds very “now” which makes a nice change to the constant stream of eighties enthusiasts and revivalists coming out of the woodwork over the past few years. The synth, for example, is used in perfect quantities and the gorgeous harmonies are utilised sparingly enough to bring songs to life whenever they appear. In an ideal world this album would be held aloft as a shining example in the craft of effortless pop music, unfortunately we are not living in an ideal world and historically this mantle has been bestowed upon The Ting Tings and other such tripe. There are no threadbare gimmicks on show here, just a simple approach to song writing which really works.

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Imperial Teen
Merge