Canberra punk-rock outfit Teen Jesus and the Jean Teasers dropped their debut EP ‘Pretty Good For A Girl Band’ today and it is pure fire!
Having been climbing from strength to strength over the past couple of years, the group have made a name for themselves with their fierce, non-apologetic riot-grrrl energy that has solidified themselves as one of the best local acts on the scene.
Kicking things right off with AHHHH! (I always have to check how many H’s to put), a 2021 favourite with such a killer hook that throws crowds into a frenzy. As the energy ramps up for the final pre-chorus, “I am, well at least I thought I was / having fun until you fucked it all up” it sends the song into a crashing end.
With two unheard songs sprinkled within this EP, the first we get is ‘Up To Summit’ which feels both upbeat yet with an underlying tone of grungy sadness. With its fast-paced drum line and gritty guitars, singer Anna Ryan’s vocals are drawn out and low giving a melancholic state of emotion.
We flick the switch on the vibe with ‘Miss Your Birthday’ which follows the narrative of living in one place for too long that you’re getting cabin fever. It’s really testing the relationship of the people you’re around and you want the comfort of your own place and space. “Don’t take this the wrong way it’s not to do with you / but I’m running out of clothes and I need a clean bathroom”. Something a lot of people probably experienced during COVID. Co-written with Alex Lahey during a lockdown, its chantable chorus is easily addictive and so satisfying to scream out at a live show, with the added euphoria of our “post-lockdowns” freedom.
Having been on the set-list for a while now, we then have the almighty ‘Girl Sports’, with its dark and moody intro guitar riff the song navigates the frustrations around being labelled a “girl band” and how when women do things that are typically male-dominated it’s always labelled with “girl”( ie “girl sports” “girl boss” “gamer girl” etc). The song is aggressive but not in a typical fashion; it is sly and calculated. As the chorus kicks in, it explodes, “maybe you should try sticking to girl sports / and men would like it better if you didn’t talk / don’t get me wrong you’re pretty good for a girl band /It’s kinda complicated you won’t understand”, is such an iconic chorus that is addictive to sing along too, anyone who has felt patronised in any capacity for being a woman can relate to the frustration. As the chorus rings out again it’s stripped back to just deep bass, and as more instruments come into its crescendo the band screams “DO YOU WANNA PLAY? ” “NO, FUCK OFF FUCK OFF”; it’s exhilarating!
The band recently released a music video for the track which features Melbourne singer-songwriter, Suzi, as the band’s tennis coach. With nods to the Twilight baseball scene throughout, the band deliver the track with their relatable, iconic and hilarious persona.
Finishing off the 5-track EP, we get another newbie, ‘Bull Dragon’ as a full band belter. The song is an emotional rollercoaster about wanting someone to like you and realising your efforts are falling to the wayside. “I try to impress you every day you still scream and shout my name in the most offensive way”. The song concludes with the awareness that you’re just screaming to the void and realising “I don’t need you anyway”, as these final lyrics are belted out, the cathartic emotion is carried through with the full band’s support.
Overall, ‘Pretty Good For A Girl Band’ demonstrates just how powerful Teen Jesus are, and they’re gonna scream it from the rooftops!
Teen Jesus and the Jean Teasers’ ‘Pretty Good For A Girl Band” tour kicks off Aug 12th in Scarborough.