Skip to main content

Teen Canteen – Sirens EP (Last Night From Glasgow)

Teen Canteen first swaggered into view a few years back like a Glasgow girl gang weaned on C86 indie-pop and 1960s’ bubblegum. The sound the all-female quartet aspired to was a consciously constructed sugar-rush led by lead vocalist, synth-ist and chief song-writer Carla Easton. As their canon matured, while heart-on-sleeve harmonies remained key, a meatier, beatier post indie fabulism emerged that was writ large across their 2016 debut album, Say it All With A Kiss.

A restless Easton went on to all but upstage herself with the soul-glam euphoria of side-project Ette on the Homemade Lemonade album. Barely pausing for breath, Easton is back in the Teen Canteen fold with guitarist Chloe Philip, bass player Sita Pieraccini and drummer Debs Smith for this shiny new four-track EP. Released on 10” transparent blue and red vinyl with white splatter, studio sparkle seems to have been sprinkled liberally across all four songs.

Any pre-conceptions of tweeness are blown away from the start, as the great big two-fingered clarion call for independent women that is the opening What You Gonna Do About Me? stomps in. With Easton and co taking to task the overly-controlling klutz the song appears to be aimed at, things take a musical turn for the wide-screen as Easton's voice expands into something strident, defiant and frankly huuuuuuuge in its execution.

Mercifully, she sounds like she's somewhat wisely dumped the big galoot by the time she begins

Can't Go Back (Starry Eyed) over a stabbing synthesised bass-line. There's still an element of lament at play as the song builds to become an ever-expanding epic, with proper pop star harmonies that sound like a supportive sorority backing her up every step of the way.

Millions may be crying real tears by the end of the song, but its low-end piano and drum-beat intro thwacks its way into your heart like a slap round the face. In-between, a barely repressed yearning gathers apace with monster-sized proportions.

Finally, the EP's title track may point to accompanying publicity shots of the band posing in white in the derelict pool of what used to be Govanhill Baths in Glasgow, but inner-city ambulance wails are being referenced here. A pared-down reworking of a track from Say It All With A Kiss, Sirens (Piano Mix) offers up a breathier and more wistful reflection of more innocent times past.

Despite what Easton might suggest in her lyrics to Sirens, in terms of confidence, Teen Canteen here sound super-powered. All four love-lorn pop melodramas are kitchen-sink constructions both in their wall-of-sound production as much as their redemptive coffee-bar purgings.

In an ideal world where the pop charts still mattered, each of these girl-powered anthems would be in there like a silver bullet. As if by magic, that bullet would burst open and shower all about them with glitter-tipped hearts that were once in pieces, but have now healed to become as beautiful and fearless as every soaring moment captured here.

Product, April 2017

ends

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Losing Touch With My Mind - Psychedelia in Britain 1986-1990

DISC 1 1. THE STONE ROSES   -  Don’t Stop 2. SPACEMEN 3   -  Losing Touch With My Mind (Demo) 3. THE MODERN ART   -  Mind Train 4. 14 ICED BEARS   -  Mother Sleep 5. RED CHAIR FADEAWAY  -  Myra 6. BIFF BANG POW!   -  Five Minutes In The Life Of Greenwood Goulding 7. THE STAIRS  -  I Remember A Day 8. THE PRISONERS  -  In From The Cold 9. THE TELESCOPES   -  Everso 10. THE SEERS   -  Psych Out 11. MAGIC MUSHROOM BAND  -  You Can Be My L-S-D 12. THE HONEY SMUGGLERS  - Smokey Ice-Cream 13. THE MOONFLOWERS  -  We Dig Your Earth 14. THE SUGAR BATTLE   -  Colliding Minds 15. GOL GAPPAS   -  Albert Parker 16. PAUL ROLAND  -  In The Opium Den 17. THE THANES  -  Days Go Slowly By 18. THEE HYPNOTICS   -  Justice In Freedom (12" Version) 1. THE STONE ROSES    Don’t Stop ( Silvertone   ORE   1989) The trip didn’t quite start here for what sounds like Waterfall played backwards on The Stone Roses’ era-defining eponymous debut album, but it sounds

Big Gold Dreams – A Story of Scottish Independent Music 1977-1989

Disc 1 1. THE REZILLOS (My Baby Does) Good Sculptures (12/77)  2. THE EXILE Hooked On You (8/77) 3. DRIVE Jerkin’ (8/77) 4. VALVES Robot Love (9/77) 5. P.V.C. 2 Put You In The Picture (10/77) 6. JOHNNY & THE SELF ABUSERS Dead Vandals (11/77) 7. BEE BEE CEE You Gotta Know Girl (11/77) 8. SUBS Gimme Your Heart (2/78) 9. SKIDS Reasons (No Bad NB 1, 4/78) 10. FINGERPRINTZ Dancing With Myself (1/79)  11. THE ZIPS Take Me Down (4/79) 12. ANOTHER PRETTY FACE All The Boys Love Carrie (5/79)  13. VISITORS Electric Heat (5/79) 14. JOLT See Saw (6/79) 15. SIMPLE MINDS Chelsea Girl (6/79) 16. SHAKE Culture Shock (7/79) 17. HEADBOYS The Shape Of Things To Come (7/79) 18. FIRE EXIT Time Wall (8/79) 19. FREEZE Paranoia (9/79) 20. FAKES Sylvia Clarke (9/79) 21. TPI She’s Too Clever For Me (10/79) 22. FUN 4 Singing In The Showers (11/79) 23. FLOWERS Confessions (12/79) 24. TV21 Playing With Fire (4/80) 25. ALEX FERGUSSON Stay With Me Tonight (1980) 1. THE REZILL

Edinburgh Rocks – The Capital's Music Scene in the 1950s and Early 1960s

Edinburgh has always been a vintage city. Yet, for youngsters growing up in the shadow of World War Two as well as a pervading air of tight-lipped Calvinism, they were dreich times indeed. The founding of the Edinburgh International Festival in 1947 and the subsequent Fringe it spawned may have livened up the city for a couple of weeks in August as long as you were fans of theatre, opera and classical music, but the pubs still shut early, and on Sundays weren't open at all. But Edinburgh too has always had a flipside beyond such official channels, and, in a twitch-hipped expression of the sort of cultural duality Robert Louis Stevenson recognised in his novel, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, a vibrant dance-hall scene grew up across the city. Audiences flocked to emporiums such as the Cavendish in Tollcross, the Eldorado in Leith, The Plaza in Morningside and, most glamorous of all due to its revolving stage, the Palais in Fountainbridge. Here the likes of Joe Loss and Ted Heath broug