A horrible hack

Street Legal - Frozen Teens


Year Released: 2011
Format: 7"
Label: Shut Up Records
Reviewed by Alex Hannan on Apr 8, 2014
For some reason this split has hit my review table 3 years after release. Breaking news! At the time of release, both bands had only released demos, and FROZEN TEENS used their first vinyl appearance as a springboard to a 2012 LP and a 7" last year. STREET LEGAL don't seem to have released anything else since. It's a shame, because they have the better half of this split for me.

FROZEN TEENS get the A-side, and are on the winsome, primary coloured end of garage-punk. Guitars are bright and melodic, rhythms clipped and clattering, reminiscent of the MARKED MEN. The lyrics of opener "New Year" deal in regrets and memories: their second song "Support" is more basic, less catchy and the lyrics... hmm, criticizing them is like kicking a puppy, but I'm not into their passive, doleful tone - "I think I've messed up and I'm so confused / I need your advice so I can make things right / Can I count on you cuz I don't know what to do / We have nothing in this world if we don't have each other."

STREET LEGAL are harder-edged in both lyrics and music, less of the sad-sack and more of the cut the crap. They have a little of ASTRID OTO / MIAMI about them in their raucous exorcism of everyday demons, yet with space for neat touches and details in the songwriting. At their best everyone is bringing good ideas to the table, guitars peeling off for creative leads and interesting riffs, the atmosphere teeth-gritted and determined. "Knocked off my feet again" is the highlight, but "Fuck the pressure" somehow loses the sweet spot that song occupied. The bass is high in the mix, hitting every sixteenth note, and makes the tune feel hectic and over-busy.

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