A/V Room









A - Teen Dance Ordinance

Review: Jack Foley

A CAN proudly lay claim to being the first UK band to be produced by Terry Date, whose renowned production skills have been called upon by the likes of Soundgarden, Deftones and Pantera.

Sadly, his mercurial touch is found in short supply on Teen Dance Ordinance, a mixed bag of an album that struggles to do anything really different within the genre its rooted in.

Teen Dance Ordinance is A's fourth album and is designed to showcase a broader sound, thereby contrasting the melodic pop-punk firecracker style of previous tracks, Starbucks and Old Folks, with a darker, more melancholic edge in new tracks such as Second Coming and Wake Up.

It is on Second Coming that the production values of Date kick in, lending the band an altogether grittier, stadium-filling sound that clearly owes its inspiration to Pantera and co.

Indeed, much of Teen Dance Ordinance feels rooted in American culture, with former single, Better Off Without Him, reminiscent of the lighter pop-punk sound of Blink-182 or Sum 41.

For this reason alone, it might be embraced by the skater boy fraternity on both sides of the Atlantic, while offering glimpses of a maturing sound for the band as a whole.

But too much of Teen Dance Ordinance feels like filler, rather than killer.

Wake Up is a loud barrage of wailing guitars and wall of sound big band moments, while Worst Thing That Can Happen owes too much of its style to Soundgarden, with a touch of metal thrown in.

Afterburner is, as its title suggests, a throwaway rock-out that could have been churned out by any one of a number of bands in the genre.

That said, there are some moments when the album shows signs of life.

The incessantly catchy Black Hole is a lively, upbeat little riot of a track, featuring one of the simpler guitar riffs, and a sweeping chorus; while the sunshine vibe that accompanies Hey feels like a much-needed breath of fresh air (and should be served up as a summer single).

On the whole, though, A's Teen Dance Ordinance disappoints more than it impresses and fails to realise the potential offered by the presence of such an accomplished producer as Date.

Editor's note: Here's some useless trivia for you; the title, Teen Dance Ordinance, is derived from the draconian entertainment laws that governed Seattle and Washington State's live music industry from 1985-2002.

The TDO dictated that if a gig allowed under-18s in, then only people aged between 15 and 18 could attend - the only way someone older could attend would be in the case that they were accompanying someone under 18.

This law effectively stopped Seattle's teenagers attending gigs in their own town, until it was superseded with the more flexible All Ages Ordinance in 2002.

Track listing:
1. Rush Song
2. Better Off With Him
3. The Art Of Making Sense
4. Someone Else
5. Die Tonight
6. 2nd Coming
7. Wake Up
8. Black Hole
9. Hey
10. Worst Thing That Can Happen
11. Afterburner
12. Wisdom

# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z