[engl] "We all know what teenagers are like. Bratty little gobshites. Moody shits. Forever toeing the line between cocky arrogance and whiny self-doubt, and to hell with anyone who gets caught in the crossfire. And this old fucker should know; he was really good at all of the above (still keeping on top of the ‘gobshite’ part, you’ll notice). For some reason, the entirety of rock’n’roll is predicated on music made for and about these states of mind - well, I guess if you mix ‘em all together, they can make for one helluva sense of reckless abandon.
So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Melbourne quartet Mr Teenage sound exactly like their name suggests: chaotic, raw, emotionally volatile… and of course they bind all this together with their own brand of heroically melodic garage rock. Produced by Billy Gardener (of Ausmuteants, Smarts, Cereal Killer and god knows how many other vital Aus-punx), this debut EP snarls, spits and swaggers with all the glorious self-belief of a drunken 4am stumble to the petrol station to buy a pack of skins. And the songs are fucking great too.
Title track ‘Automatic Love’ expertly showcases the combined sounds of their cited influences (Thin Lizzy, Dictators, Martha Reeves, etc), with frontman Nic Imfeld’s voice at times edging close to the sandpaper soul of their countryman Shogun (ex-Royal Headache). Meanwhile ‘Waste Of Time’ sees him blending their garage licks with Joey Ramone bubblegum, just as ‘The Loser’ fashions a delightfully adolescent chorus of ‘the loser says what?’ from an airy melody that either The Shangri-Las or Del Shannon would be proud of. They wrap things up with another slab of pure punk/pub rock genius called ‘Kids’ that’ll get the hairs on the back of your neck standing on end, as you fight the urge to crank-call your former school teachers and blame the kid who used to take your lunch money.
Of course, singing about ‘kids these days’ marks Mr Teenage out as being older than their name suggests, and sure enough their name comes from an old wrestler rather than identifying with an age bracket they’ve outgrown. But with tunes like this… honestly, who gives a fuck what they’re called? This record is perfect.