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Reality Check – The Teenagers

By Chris Peken

Name three great French bands of the last decade. No, Plastic Bertrand doesn’t count. Paris may be the City of Love, but it’s not really the city for great music and I’m not sure i can explain why. The Teenagers hail from the City of Love and have jumped upon the latest electro-synth pop bandwagon as it passed down the Champs Elysees. Four on the floor thumping drums, slabs of thick guitar and walls of post-eighties synthesisers are abundant on Reality Check, so abundant that they never seem to stop. Being French, girls, women, indeed anything female is their obsession – from Scarlett Johansson – Scarlett Johansson – to female cousins – Homecoming – to weird girls –  Fuck Nicole – and thieving girls – Sunset Beach. That’s right, thematically, as musically, The Teenagers are at least consistent. They even manage some brazen self promotion on Feeling Better: “Here’s the plan / We want to heal the world / To make it a better place / For you and your friends”, the song even more audacious as it shamelessly rips off an old Joy Division riff. The problem for Reality Check is that it never attempts to take it’s own advice, song after song follows the same verse, hook, chorus, verse formula without exception. Perhaps that’s the real message here, Reality Check(s) are all well and good, but in small doses!