12 Songs, 37 Minutes

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.

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.

TITLE TIME
3:19
3:30
2:56
3:12
2:28
4:08
2:47
3:35
2:27
3:17
2:50
3:20

About Imperial Teen

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." A tour with Hole followed, but the majority of their live shows were done on a headlining club tour. On was the next release, their first for Merge Records and another fine example of their coy boy/girl pop. A live album was also released that fall, backed by a tour. Former Hole drummer Patty Schemel took over touring duties while Lynn Perko rested. After the On tour, Imperial Teen's members took a hiatus from the band. Schwartz worked with his other project, Hey Willpower; Bottum wrote music for television shows including Help Me Help You; Stebbings pursued a career as a hairstylist, and Perko had a baby. When Imperial Teen finally reconvened, their reasons for what took them so long to reunite provided the title for their 2007 album The Hair the TV the Baby & the Band. Another five years were to pass before the band resurfaced with their fifth album, Feel the Sound, in early 2012. ~ Jason Ankeny and Bradley Torreano

  • ORIGIN
    San Fransisco, CA
  • FORMED
    1994

Songs

Albums

Listeners Also Played