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Teen Machine

Afterschool Special

(Pop Squad)

Does anybody remember a group by the name of Best Kissers In The World? Okay, maybe that was a longshot. But, to give them cred, I always thought that if the Kissers had been started 30 years earlier, they’d be the one group who could beat out the Partridge Family in a Battle of the Bands. That is, until now.

Today’s David-Cassidy-eat-your-hear-out darlings are none other than Teen Machine, an outfit that necessarily resurrects a glorious melange of your favorite of adolescence clichés. Yes indeed, Afterschool Special is a romper room of fast cars, broken hearts, popular chicks and far-out dudes, sugared with a That ‘70s Show mentality and spiced with the kitsch that’s distinctly Hollywood derived. Cody Jarret’s rough vocals will remind you of that bad boy who parked his hot rod on the far end of the parking lot, who got wasted during lunch, who even the teachers lusted after. And the candy-apple pop tones of Amanda Foreman (appropriately, a member of the Felicity cast) and singer Angel have a prom-queen gleam that’s sure to make you smile (unless, of course, it makes you wretch).

Though “Bitchin Camaro” sounds a lot like a cheap Foo Fighters rip off, most of the album tinkers playfully with traditional chords and riffs of ‘70s and ‘80s power rock. But beyond the sonic gimmick—the hilarious “Hot Mom”, campy “I’m Gonna Steal Your Girlfriend” or stadium-worthy “Demolition Girl”, is a concoction of sing-along-able, happy-go-lucky, bar style rock ‘n’ roll. Don’t expect the Musical World Order to be revolutionized, but do expect a tight execution of pubescent nostalgia. If only your high school years were like this.

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