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The Hair the TV the Baby and the Band

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Editors’ Notes

WWith the previous five years spent on hiatus, pursuing the real-life topics reflected in the album's title (careers, family, and side band projects), Imperial Teen are back where they belong: in the studio, with knob-guru Steve McDonald of Redd Kross (along with wife Anna Waronker of That Dog) back at the helm, creating smart and sassy, hook-heavy garage pop. The collection kicks off with a stunning Phil Specter-inspired number setting the tone. “Everything” has glassy tambourines, a huge, live drum sound, and breezy vocals — with a heavenly boy/girl chorus — in the background. The album slides into full shimmy-shake pop mode with the bubbly “Do it Better” and then revs up a notch with the Breeders-like, guitar-driven, “Shim Sham,” a wink at the clubbing life. By the time the exhilarating “One Two” winds down, you’re ready for the more introspective side of the band, shown best here on “Room With a View” (funny how going to the gym might supplant smashing one’s guitars for kicks at a certain age), and the fabulously Beatles-esque “Fallen Idol.”  The naughty, roaring “Sweet Potato” will have you shaking it again, this time with a giggle. The gorgeous closer (perhaps our favorite track here), “What You Do,” glides along on a simple, repetitive piano line dressed up with atmospheric guitar notes, calling to mind the reflective, personal pop of indie rock statesmen Yo La Tengo.

Customer Reviews

the best $9.99 i spent this hour

upbeat, sassy and smart. fresh, classic and current i bought it, you should too

Finally! Imperial Teen's new album!

I have seen four different gigs of Imperial Teen in San Francisco. They are good performers as well. I have listened to their "On" and "What is Not to Love" over and over. Their songs are very catchy and cool (in other words, not charged with full of obvious banal meanings). Certain melodic phrases and odd (sometimes even goofy) lyrics stick to one's brain, like a spell. Imperial Teen can be addictive. This album contains a lot of such songs. I recommend the entire album, but if you have a limited resource, I recommend "Room With a View," "It's Now," "Fallen Idol," "Everyone Wants to Know," and/or "What You Do."

Punk Popsters Produce Epiphany

Simplicity. Complexity. Soft Guys, Hard Girls. Real feelings. Light on technical prowess but heavy on soul. The opposite of heavy Metal. One of the guys used to be in a metal band. Commercial success eludes Imperial teen. But Oh well - I get to listen to pop perfection by a band from my home town who plays live shows in tiny venues for a hundred or so people who really get it. So even though I don't want to lose that, I encourage you to get it. now.

Biography

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."...
Full Bio
The Hair the TV the Baby and the Band, Imperial Teen
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