Best Local Album Release - 2009
Teenage Cool Kids
Twelve tracks and a hair over 37 minutes long, this late spring release from Denton's Teenage Cool Kids surprised more than a few people with something poppier than listeners might've come to expect from this previously kinda snotty, lo-fi punk quartet of Andrew Savage (guitar, lead vocals), Daniel Zeigler (guitar), Bradley Kerl (drums) and Chris Pickering (bass). It's reminiscent of the earliest, best Built to Spill—and yet somehow, no joke, a little improved. And it doesn't take long to realize as much—actually, it only takes 53 seconds. That's the point at which, on album opener "Reservoir Feelings," the music switches from a somber guitar melody to the muddled, beautiful mess the next 36 minutes will provide. Cued by Savage's words "There's a lake in the caverns of my heart," that moment also signals the kind of head-spinningly-confused-by-love wordplay that shines throughout the rest of the disc, but especially on the catchy sing-along anthems "Foreign Lands," "Speaking in Tongues" and "Poison Sermons." An immediate must-have for any music fan, this is the kind of disc that transcends the term "local music." This is just "music," dammit, and great music at that.