New Music Now: Teenage Kicks – “Rational Anthems”

Eschewing musical trends, Toronto crew Teenage Kicks play go for the throat rock and roll on their debut EP.

Following their stellar Shook Our Bones seven-inch, Rational Anthems offers five Springsteenian cuts that stick in your head for days, like the soundtrack to the most defining moments of your life. Singer Peter Van Helvoort’s beer soaked vocals convey all the pain and frustration that a dead-end jobs creates, distilling little moments into three and a half minute screeds for the working man.

Recorded and produced by the band themselves, Rational Anthems is bursting at the seams with real rock and roll. – Nicole Rubacha

Download album review here.

  1. Lidia said:

    First I will say your great artists , the conceptual work is great , I have been to hear you guys sing , i love the lead singer but he is a little weak in the vocals . I went over a few of your songs before I heard you play on your websites .
    I like the drummer , ok cute kind of , the instrumentals are perfect
    Where I notice your weakness is the lead singer and songwriter
    the danger of writing your own songs is you tend to write in your range only
    and that can be limiting for the band .
    you have a good voice and the lead singer has a interesting sound , but its not that powerful and he tend to drop notes or get a bit pitchy and tries to cover it . He has a bit of ego there

    I get the reason behind rock and roll , its dosent need strong vocals as much as strong instrumentals ,
    I dont like the back ground voices , they dont match the lead singer
    they sound like the background for a boy band
    When you have back up singers they either should blend and hold harmony , or have strong voices of their own ,and be able to carry a song on their own ,
    If you look at the bands /singers who are hot now , the music is mostly vocal
    Adele who is very strong vocalist and song writer , she even pulls out more strengh in the middle of a song ,
    And Whinehouse was a voice , the instrumentals of both singer are great and the background blends perfectly Amy is crisp |(when not drunk )
    Barenaked Ladies had different strong voices , that didnt blend but more or less complimented each other

    Bruno mars crisp voice , he can hold a tempo , ok a little boy bandish , but he is talented
    Cee Lo Green has a really , strong voice , huge range , good tempo , some unexpected moments in his vocals

    the Fray: strong clear voice , good tempo , good mix of vocal talents ,
    there are distinct personalities that come through in the voices ,they have a very polished sound

    Gnarls Barkley strong range , interesting personal style , he makes it sound like he woke up singing that way , like it didnt take years of singing an there isnt someone going over every note to get it right

    Singer song writers tend to write to their range and that can be ok if you have people aroun d you to challenge you to push your range ,

    I have two friends in bands , one is a cover band , they dont even try to write , just a bunch of guys who play two or three times a month
    there are three strong singers and a good back up singer ,
    the other are singer songwriter band and they do cover songs , they are the nicest group of guys , and they get two or three and even four gigs a month,
    But the other group is in their late thirties , one singer is terrible the other is average and the other one is a really ok singer , none of them have powerful voices
    they even pay to put a album together , the music is terrible , its flat and i and worse songs they wrote when they were younger ,so the music sounds weird , grown men singing mushy love songs ,

    When you pay to produce a album you hire yes man who tell you what your paying them to say
    most real producers have software that can predict if the song will be a hit or not , its all computer generated .and tweaked ,
    When a producer want to cover the cost of the studio they will go over every part of the song and tweak it , Shania Twain songs were all written and then then just put through computer programs to like over processed food
    I dont mean thats what you want but the fact when you pay for a song to be produced you dont get that service ,

    Again not everyone is a singer songwriter, some writers cant sing their own songs , thats pretty common , and not every singer can write as good as they think they can .

    There are some things I like about the band , your nice guys an when you play I can actually hear the vocals , its so common for the band to drown out the singer in small bars , Your great physical presence , you can put together a video and take great pictures and really sell yourselves well
    I like that your a rock an roll band but you might be for the wrong reason , , I think your hiding behind the music ,
    currently most songs are about the voice , in rock and roll the band carries the tune and tempo , The singer sings and then the band comes in with a powerful instrumental and it works , it did , once but not now and even if you can that formula to work , it will only be for one or two songs

    sorry but I need to say it , more vocal lessons with a good coach ,
    at this point you should be getting lessons as often as your practising actually more . and yes some writng lessons

    Your title is wrong , teenage what , , it give away the fact you have been trying since your teens

    You have the look and you all have the confidence ,and good computer skills , but you havent got the music together yet , you will keep changing drummers and people til you admit you need to work more on the basics ,. you cant stand behind creative licence forever , I am singing my way stuff ,

    If your serious the answer is to go back to the basics , its not hiring another drummer , its your last kick at the can , Even practicing , it would be better is you had someone who could guide you along ,

    I am sorry but you wont get the investment money unles you do some tweaking
    you have the look perfect but there are tons of bands with your talent
    you need to be tighter ,


  2. iangormely said:

    I think you’re missing the point of this band completely. The singers you mention have very different goals and styles than Teenage Kicks.
    The whole point of bands like TK is to play dirty rock and roll. Whether they succeed is certainly open to interpretation, but to say that the vocals need work because it doesn’t sound like Adele or some other mainstream crooner is ridiculous.

    And producers don’t have computers that just produce hits. If they did, every song would be a hit. Do you know how much money the artist’s you mention spent making their albums? At least 10 X what a band like this spends.

    And Teenage Kicks isn’t a reference to when the band formed or when its members started playing together. Its a reference to the Undertones tune “Teenage Kicks.”

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