Following the release of their debut album, Sacrifice, teenagersintokyo (and with all the irony of any indie band, they are not teenagers, nor are they from Tokyo…..) were named one of the fresh upcoming bands of 2010. Although there have been no new releases from the band since, they have managed to distinguish themselves from the modern Indie scene, with this art-pop, electro beat album.
Starting simply with the music; the bass is thick and explicit in pretty much every track, the guitars are sharp and the drums are edgy. Then on top, there is Samantha Lim’s fragile and nonchalant voice (often reminiscent of other bands on the scene like The xx), yet also sometimes exposing a darker tone of voice in the verses. Lyrically, the words suit the music, singing of how “I lose myself every time I stay out late night”, but nothing other than that can be said about them. The second half of the album begins to feel as if teenagersintokyo are a cult of some sort , with the suicidal atmosphere of the darker keyboard chords kicking in, and the vocals becoming more desperate and fluctuating. The music however, is nothing short of danceable and easy listening.
There is no denying that the album has a lot of 80s influence. “Long Walk Home” recalls the synth lines of Joy Division, and the album as a whole is awash with the electro punk style of Siouxie And The Banshees. The opening track, “Sacrifice“, is not a great introduction to the band – it appears to have less substance to it than the rest of the album, mostly made up of a bass line, and the crying of “Sacrifice!” from Lim. However, once you get past that first track, the album starts to take on more of an identity. “End It Tonight” pretty much depicts that the band as having an attitude that is fearless and cool, and its relentless catchiness has inevitably allowed it to receive the remix treatment. Despite the “we-are-cooler-than you” edge of the album, it all ends on the track “3046”, which is a stark contrast to the others, presenting a softer and more relaxed side to their music – but is still one of the better songs.
Overall, the album is certainly memorable for about a few of its tracks; the others are mediocre or forgettable fillers. Teenagersintokyo prove themselves to be different from the bands that are often thrown under the sub genre of ‘Indie’, and although it draws heavily on the popular 80s styles, there is a fresh polish on Sacrifice which stops it from merely being a copycat album.
Best Tracks: End It Tonight, Isabella, 3046