By: Tyler Hoppel
Do you remember Stutterfly? A sing-scream band that was once on Maverick Records but received relatively little publicity. Fast forward to present day, a name change and the band Secret & Whisper decided to take a stab at a different approach. Their product Great White Whale (Tooth & Nail), was such a highly-regarded debut that, in fact, caused many to nickname them “The Better Saosin”. Lets not go that far, we can’t compare S&W to Saosin. Saosin made popular this kind of style (high-pitched backed by fast guitar riffs). Teenage Fantasy is a fast paced album that can hold its within this genre. Charles Furney’s vocals can high notes with the best of them (Anthony Green, Cove Reber). S&W has expanded their Saosin sound-alike skills and have come out with an atmospherically impacting rock album with screamo influences that take awhile to take in lyrically, but no time at all musically.
Its quite easy to see that Teenage Fantasy could have been what Saosin would have created with their next album if Anthony Green never left. Lead-off track “Youth Cats” sounds like a continuation of Great White Whale, Furney’s vocals soar high over the fast paced guitar riffs which leads to a huge chorus. The collection of synths is the only addition since their highly-touted debut. Teenage Fantasy has finally got a well deserved production upgrade from Great White Whale.
Teenage Fantasy is very similar to Great White Whale. The general ideas in the music have been carried over with some contrast. In some ways Teenage Fantasy is a little heavier at times, with a strong post-hardcore feel. Most noticeably, it lacks a definite single like “XOXOXO,” although “Warrior (Southern Arrowwood)” and “Famous for a Century” make courageous attempts at filling that role. There certainly are tracks that are just as heavy, but they are less catchy and not as energetic. At the same time, “Bedroom Galaxy” and “Youth Cats” are among the best I’ve heard from the band on either album. Fans of Great White Whale who prefer the more random post-hardcore influences will find a lot to enjoy.
As a whole, Teenage Fantasy is not quite as memorable as Great White Whale was. It’s a little less adventurous and consequently less powerful. As a result, it takes more time to grow on the listener. But in the end, it turns out to be a solid and enjoyable release, one that is sure to satisfy both old and new fans.
Teenage Fantasy stand-out tracks – “Youth Cats” and “Bedroom Galaxy”
Teenage Fantasy track-listing –
01. Youth Cats
02. Warrior (Southern Arrowwood)
03. Bedroom Galaxy
04. Tiny Sparkle
05. Famous for a Century
06. Edge of Wilderness
07. Pretty Snarl
08. Star Blankets
10. Whale Bones
11. Silver Mountain
13. Upset Seventeen
Similar To: Saosin, Ivoryline, Lower Definition