ALBUM: That’s Outrageous! – Teenage Scream

Release Date: July 19th, 2011
Label: Rise Records
Website: None available


It’s all too easy to be cynical when it comes to music nowadays. With the scene awash with identikit outfits attempting to cash in on a genre’s shortlived popularity, originaility and innovation are difficult to come by, and there’s a constant danger of becoming jaded as bands seem to put more effort into their merch than their music. That’s Outrageous! are one such band adding to the creative vacuum.

‘Teenage Scream’ is an utterly transparent attempt to tie together all the fashionable elements that seem to generate prominence today, i.e. heavily auto-tuned vocals, a smattering of redundant synth and vapid, rehashed breakdowns. One need look no further than debut single, and title-track, ‘Teenage Scream’, which opens with a brief piano tinkle before launching into a whiny vocal melody and descending into a tedious chug fest. There is even a ridiculous rap section shoehorned in (just incase they have not shown themselves as being entirely in vogue).

And so, the problem with the album is simply that it is shamelessly formulaic. Songs such as ‘Headshot At The Ballet Recital’ and ‘So, I’m Thinking Of Starting A Clothing Line…’ (and indeed most of the tracks here) revolve around soaring choruses and relentless syncopated chugging which have not only been done a thousand times before, but have also been done a thousand times better. Even attempts at doing something a little different, briefly seen in the slow burning ‘What Happens In Azeroth, Stays In Azeroth’, because of the programmed drums and acute singing, sounds plastic and emotionally sterile. And hey, the popularity of dubstep is showing no signs of dying anytime soon, so there is a laughable attempt at it on ‘Is It 2012 Yet?’.

That’s Outrageous! have delivered an album that, whilst being a slick and polished release, is unforgivably stagnant and listless. Many may label it as throwaway fun, yet with not a scrap of evidence within ‘Teenage Scream’ to the band attempting to inject any innovation to their sound, it’s clear that That’s Outrageous! are simply stringing together any facet of popular music to further their own position. Creating generic music is not always bad per se, aslong as at least some emotional or artist integrity is included, yet when it is entirely devoid of both of these, you begin to question the band’s motives for writing music in the first place.

Written by Tony Bliss