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Feel the Sound

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Editors’ Notes

Feel the Sound finds Imperial Teen reaffirming its commitment to quirky post-grunge pop with commendable skill and vigor. Much like The Feelies, members Roddy Bottum, Lynn Truell, Jone Stebbings, and Will Schwartz seem sustained by the joys of camaraderie as much as a collective dream of commercial success. Adding needed edge to the group's congenial vibe is an undertone of droll satire, present both in Imperial Teen's obliquely unsettling lyrics and its deft pastiche of minimal beats, honeyed vocal harmonies, and astringent guitar seasonings. Buoyant tracks like “No Matter What You Say,” “Runaway,” and “Last to Know” approach the undeniable catchiness of the band’s 1999 hit “Yoo Hoo.” Insistent strings add classical polish to “Don’t Know How You Do It,” while electronica touches give “Hanging About” a contemporary glow. Themes of identity, friendship, and betrayal pop up amid the candyfloss melodies and bubblegum hooks. Beneath the lighthearted sparkle of “All the Same,” for instance, is a tale of unshakable obsession.


Formed: 1994 in San Fransisco, CA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Led by former Faith No More keyboardist Roddy Bottum, the alternative pop band Imperial Teen emerged from San Francisco in 1994. Co-founded with drummer Lynn Perko, a veteran of Bay Area groups like the Dicks and Sister Double Happiness, the lineup was completed by former Wrecks bassist Jone Stebbings and vocalist Will Schwartz. Debuting in 1996 with the critical favorite Seasick, Imperial Teen resurfaced in early 1999 with What Is Not to Love, a minor hit due to the success of the sultry "Yoo Hoo."...
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Feel the Sound, Imperial Teen
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