1980s power balladeer and one-time punk Belinda Carlisle said it best; heaven is a place …
Press Club are a new generation of working-class band, they’re not just wearing their identity upon their sleeve like pub rockers wore denim and sang the blues. Like The Smith Street Band before them, they carry conviction and they’re looking to bring messages to the masses.
Their music comes confessional, but they’ve got grit. Debut album Late Teens’ sonics are volcanic, an electric spike of hard rocking energy, but what really speaks through is that its stories are real, wrenched from the heart in spectacular sprays of emotional gore.
Press Club’s debut album Late Teens isn’t Billy Bragg, It’s exciting. This debut record’s vehicle is rock, or elements of it … It’s a sound which mingles with hardcore and punk.
Crash rumbles into existence as an ever-ascending haze of guitar. “I can get a little hard to take.” When Natalie Foster sings these opening lines you’d better believe she’s feeling it. Foster’s vocals may wax between fury and warmth, but they leak with a constant pain. Her darkness of thought is lifted only by the kinetic impact of the instrumentals that accompany.
Late Teens is ambitious, arriving fully formed and Press Club burst outward in an explosion of energetic rock and emotional hooks.
As an opener Crash establishes Late Teens’ thematic feel, It’s an exploration of power and pain. The sensation of coursing from highs to lows accompanied by a constant feeling of being torn.
The sentiment is present on Headwreck where Foster plays both victim and aggressor. Golden State continues to dive into worlds of love and violence … or is it violent love? There’s no love of violence, but plenty of melodramatic pull.
Tackling gentrification, Suburbia explores the idea of crawling back to the security of your roots only to find a world forever changed. But while it’s easy to focus on this air of moody dejection there’s a spark of excitement throughout. Side B adds a touch of more temperate guitar play. But Ignorance and Let it Fall shove the idea of a gentler second half aside.
Late Teens is ambitious, arriving fully formed and Press Club burst outward in an explosion of energetic rock and emotional hooks. There’s nothing tentative about Press Club’s debut, these punches aren’t padded. Its ragged messages cut through the fundamental malaise of modern life. Late Teens is a record that demands response.
STANDOUT TRACKS: Crash, Headwreck, Suburbia
STICK THIS NEXT TO: The Smith Street Band, The Preatures, Hüsker Dü