show review

‚ÄčThe Teen Age Live @ Mahall's 7/19/2015

The Teen Age plays out at Mahall's; crooning, swooning.
(Sanchez 2015)
Lisa Sanchez
‚ÄčThe Teen Age, an indie-garage/doo-wop Brooklyn quartet, stopped by Mahall's on Sunday on their multi-city mini-tour with East Coast buds Lazyeyes. The Teen Age manage to blend perceptively incongruous genres; the energy and brutal honesty of garage rock matched with the smooth vocals and infectious harmonies that are reminiscent of an older generation of music like doo-wop. The Teen Age brought their full force to Mahall's, whether the crowd wanted it or not.
The quartet is comprised of Bill on vocals and guitar, Micah on rhythm guitar, Digo on bass, and Nick on drums. The Teen Age have been plugging away for the last two years, releasing a couple of LPs in their short existence, Matador in 2013, Ways to Adapt in 2014, and now, Low Cunning in 2015. According to Micah, this is the band's first foray at Mahall's, which is only the third stop on the band's three week tour.
The band has recently released their single, the titular "Low Cunning," with an accompanying video, which deserves all of your attention. The song begins with a gentle, distorted guitar, and builds with Bill's husky, secretive vocals, but constantly accompanied by an underlying layer of hypnotic, high-end guitar licks and persistent drums. The Teen Age sound like they should be playing at open-air beach bash at the Fonz's house. They're smooth, with trilling guitar riffs and a light sound that translates well to any venue, 1950's or present. However, the band still has deeply rooted rock influences that add extra punch to The Teen Age's songs.
When The Teen Age took the stage, I wasn't sure how their eclectic brand of mellow garage-rock would come across in a live setting. But, Bill does an excellent job delivering dreamy guitar hooks while interlacing his endearing vocals. Digo and Micah, who also lend solid bass lines and compounding guitar rhythms, chime in with some signature "oooh-ooohs" which add a nice three-part harmony to songs like "Matador."
Although the band doesn't have an extensive discography, they were able to play an exciting and engaging set showcasing the band's diversity. From the driving, groovy "Pieces", the up-tempo but melancholy "Ventura" or the fast and fun "Liquor Store," The Teen Age delivers a killer live show perfect for fans who love punk rock and alternative with melodic, nostalgic twists. Even on a Sunday night, the band looked like they had a great time playing at Mahall's as they laughed at each other and Bill introduced songs that are about love, being young, but also about huffing glue and getting kicked out of Brooklyn bars. Those are stories I want to hear and I thoroughly enjoyed the songs that inspire them.
The Teen Age has a long way to go in their career, but they plan on beginning recording this year and have some festivals planned, as well. It's easy to find bands that are appealing and can fit cleanly into their assigned genre, but The Teen Age are something special. They've got the charisma to draw you in, the talent to keep you, and the dynamism to make you wonder what they'll do next. I would rather go see The Teen Age live than many other major-label, world touring bands. They're just that magnetic. Check out their latest single, Low Cunning, on Spotify, Soundcloud, or Bandcamp