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The Teenagers: Reality Check

The Teenagers: Reality Check

Release Date:2008

By Michaelangelo Matos | Posted 2/20/2008

The Teenagers are a trio from Paris that sound the way the Strokes' promo photos looked: randy, fucked-up on whatever's available, louche, in their 20s, and not to be trusted unless you, too, are fucked up on whatever's available. Sonically, imagine if electroclash had taken its cues from Is This It and Room on Fire--cheap, loose new-wave guitars and synths supporting heavy French accents. If this sounds like a waste of time, flee; if you're kind of intrigued despite yourself, Reality Check, the Teenagers' first album, is the kind of record you never knew you needed in your life. It's full of songs about the perils of jerkdom--only the songs' protagonists, not necessarily the guys making them, aren't aware there are perils at all.

"Feeling Better" is the most cheerless--and funniest--song about a band's own fan club ever written ("If you need a band 'cause you want to dance/ Or missing a friend 'cause you don't have any/ Well, we don't care/ Just buy our T-shirts/ And talk about us everywhere"). That song is all sweetness and light compared to "Sunset Beach," about a one-night stand gone awry: "This fucking bitch deserves to die," singer Quentin Delafon croons incongruously over cooled-out synths, because she took his Fender Jazzmaster. But the album peaks at the top with the 2007 single "Homecoming," the most astoundingly callous--and funniest--summer-fling song ever written. Delafon: "I fucked my American cunt." Unknown L.A. cheerleader-type: "I loved my English romance." Not sure what's funnier--the obviously French Delafon playing a Brit or the woman detailing her lust for her "rocker" Englishman while sounding like she's reading phonetically from a Bust magazine One-Handed Read.

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