Teen: In Limbo
- Brooklyn's Teen take their moniker from their keyboardist and lead gal, Teeny Lieberson and she used to be in those delightful psych-poppers Here We Go Magic. Teeny brings from her erstwhile band a fascination with psych, specifically woozy reverb which she spreads with liberal abandon over the slowly grooving synth-pop that teen like. The sometimes nearly shapeless sound which they ease into - see for instance Unable, is nearly the opposite of the machine-like rhythmic propulsion that is a Here We Go Magic trademark. Maybe that's a problem because a lot of folks seem to be having trouble clicking with what Teen do. Could be. Take Peaking Lights recent, very well received album Lucifer, it has a lot in common with In Limbo: quiet girl vox, synth-pop and langurous psych. The difference, again, is that Peaking Lights move to the inexorable beat of kraut. Indeed just about the best track In Limbo brings to the table, Electric, stands out from the rest because it has the itchy energy of post-punk embellished with some ringing, metallic clashes that would do Kraftwerk proud. So too, first single Better pulls its pins out of the sucking, sonic ooze to have a good ol' bop to an 80s synth anthem. It's not that the slow-burning, Suicide-referencing numbers are bad, per se. It's just that the great big wall of sound looming ominously over proceedings becomes oppressive after a while. The girls of Teen know how to make synth-pop, and maybe if they popped a few more uppers they'd shrug off some of this psychedelic funk and make not just some good songs, but a record which was great.
- Chris Cobcroft.