Warner Bros. – 13th January
It’s refreshing to witness a young band actually make use of their fresh-faces in the production of their music. LA punk-come-surf-rock outfit, The Regrettes, impress with fun teen garage and lively lo-fi punk here and importantly, the quartet, all in their mid-to-late teens, don’t attempt to mature ahead of their time. Instead, they proudly present a brash attitude voicing a generation of socially aware, self-empowered youth.
Musically, think 90s riot grrrl takes classic 60s doo-wop, with lyrical relevance to the present-day teen – expressed by lead Lydia Night’s powerful-yet-naive vocal snarls, reminiscent in lo-fi honesty to the likes of Karen O – and you’ve got this record pinned down to a T.
The melodically 60s-spirited ‘A Living Human Girl’ tears into the pressures of female perfection: “I’ve got pimples on my face / And grease in my hair / And freckly legs / go ‘head and stare”, whilst clean cut pop-rock track ‘Bronze’ tackles topics of popularity, shifting friendships and that familiar teen avidity to be one of the ‘cool kids’. ‘’Til Tomorrow’ covers themes of first love flirtation (“Hey I just wanted to say that I think I might like you”), but the strong riff-led ‘Picture Perfect’ expresses feisty cries of gritty female potency with a nod to legendary ladies of hip-hop, Salt-N-Pepa, the band rocking a head-banging interlude of their sexually driven smash hit, ‘Push It’.
At times the production can appear to be too rehearsed to be rebellious, but we should remember what they are trying to do here. The Regrettes are infusing two sonically dissimilar but equally exciting eras in music: both the birth of rock’n’roll in its initial form as rebellious youth culture, and the riot grrrl movement as third wave feminism through which derived female punk expression.
Fun, female-empowered rock’n’roll; Feel Your Feelings Fool!, despite nostalgic of some key eras in music history, is an ode to the modern teenager, penned by teens themselves. At times infectious pop, at others gritty garage, the quartet’s debut is nothing short of a buoyant collection of punk bangers exploring what it means to simply be young.
Stream: The Regrettes – Feel Your Feelings Fool!