‘What you gonna do about me?’ Glasgow four-piece TeenCanteen sing on the opening track to their new EP, Sirens, and it feels like a cry of defiance, as well as being obviously rhetorical. Because what can you do? Nothing. Only dance.
TeenCanteen are a riot. Noisy, brash, bubblegum pop-punk. Infectious melodies and playful lyrics tinged with nostalgia. Strictly bangers. Pop’s having a bit of a renaissance at the moment – partly down to its liberation from major labels to more indie environments as such, partly because people feel less bad about self identifying as such – and EPs like this are a direct result.
There’s no doubt that TeenCanteen are a great band, with each of the members bringing something to the table, but lead singer Carla J Easton’s voice is the real rabbit in the hat here. Distinctly Scottish, particularly when she sings ‘pure dead bright’ on the title track, but also almost theatrical at points – the way she stretches out some of the words, the attack with which she spits. It’s almost deliberately indulgent, but not self-indulgent – indulgent like a cheesecake is indulgent.
Sometimes EPs can be frustrating. A tease of a fuller, more realised record, that might let you know more about what a band or a singer can do. The counter to that is: when the songs are this good, why wait to put them out?