By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
Last weekend, Denton's Teenage Cool Kids seemed in markedly high spirits for the band's record release show at Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios. Album release shows always seem to carry some certain palpable, celebratory electricity, but after jumping numerous hurdles (including a legal battle to retain the band's name that garnered national attention) the release show for Foreign Lands came across like a triumphant victory lap for the band.
"Finally," read the one word headline on the TCK's MySpace page, and the band's excitement and relief was evident throughout the show—just as it was afterward, when I caught up with founding members Andrew Savage and Daniel Zeigler. The material on Foreign Lands was written in early 2008, sent for pressing in the fall and was intended for release by Valentine's Day '09 (and in time for South by Southwest), but clearly, several obstacles delayed the album's 180-gram vinyl release.
"We had two test pressings that had to be rejected because they sounded really, really bad," Savage says. "That was such an ordeal, and then, in March, we got the cease and desist order from The Cool Kids' lawyers." The band received notice of the order on the Monday after returning to Denton from SXSW. "We didn't want anything to do with a legal battle," Zeigler says. "But we had to deal with it—one, for punk, and two, to keep our name and continue what we're doing."
The case never went to trial and was resolved after a 10-hour-long deposition in which some sort of confidential agreement was reached. Though we don't know exactly how things went for either party, needless to say, the Teenage Cool Kids retained its name and released Foreign Lands.
"It's so weird because, from the start, as a band, we've had some crazy stuff happen to us," Zeigler says. "Chris [Pickering] is our fifth bass player. Bradley [Kerl] is our third drummer. I'm not glad everything happened the way it did, but it's really exciting right now because everything is working itself out, and I think that we're exactly where we need to be as a band."
Armed with Foreign Lands' highly addictive collection of songs that fit together as snugly as Lincoln Logs, as TCK readies for a three-month-long tour, the band and the album seem poised for the attention they deserve.
Release parties in Denton typically attract decent turnouts, but for a holiday weekend filled with other diversions (musical and otherwise), it was refreshing to see a crowd of more than 150 shell out four bucks to see three bands that usually play at house shows around town for free.