Australian punk rock outfit Teen Jesus and the Jean Teasers introduce their new EP, Pretty Good For A Girl Band, via Domestic La La.
The EP’s title was inspired by comments such as “you’re the best chick band I’ve seen” and “do you need help with your amp, darl?,” as well as unsolicited waist-grabs.
According to vocalist/guitarist Anna Ryan, “We are almost wanting to reclaim the phrase. It’s always been said to us in such a backhanded compliment sort of way…but we think ‘what the hell? Being a girl band is not a genre. It [the title] is almost pushing it back in their face and saying ‘Yeah, we’re pretty good for a girl band and you know what? We’re also just a good band.’”
Made up of Anna Ryan (vocals, guitar), Scarlett McKahey (guitar, vocals), Jaida Stephenson (bass), and Neve van Boxsel (drums), Teen Jesus began life in high school in Canberra, followed by erupting on the scene in 2019 with their raw garage punk sound. While playing festivals like BIGSOUND, Groovin’ The Moo, Laneway, Falls, Lost Paradise, and Spilt Milk, Teen Jesus shared the stage with Polish Club, Alex Lahey, Press Club, and WAAX.
Still, there’s more to the EP than just frustration.
Anna explains, “Despite the fact that we yell ‘fuck off’ a lot in ‘Girl Sports,’ it’s not that we hate every man ever. It’s shit that this stuff happens to us, but we know where we stand and won’t let it get to us. It’s also a broader educational moment because it’s not only men that have said ‘you’re pretty good for a girl band’ to me. I’ve had so many girls come up to me and say that or ‘I love this whole girl band thing you’ve got going on.’ I’d like to think this EP can show anyone, ‘hey, if you’ve maybe ever said this or thought this, then we can all change together.’”
Encompassing five tracks, the EP begins with “AHHHH,” opening on potent, visceral guitars descending into platinum tones on the verses. On the chorus, the tune ramps up to dirty, growling guitars topped by bright gang-like harmonies.
“Up The Summit” rolls out on edgy guitars riding a tight, hefty rhythm. Punctuated by a tasty, luminous guitar solo, the song features deliciously melodic vocals and tantalizing sonic shifts. “Miss Your Birthday” blends riot grrrl punk flavors with hints of pop-punk. Surging guitars give the tune a teeter-tottering flow as luscious harmonies provide shiny depth and dimension.
Perhaps the best track on the EP, “Girl Sports” features a snarling intro, followed by darker, thrumming hues. The final track, “Bull Dragon,” dishes out uncooked energy, at once blunt and sophisticated.
With Pretty Good For A Girl Band, Teen Jesus and the Jean Teasers demonstrate their bona fides as much more than “just a good band.” This band has it going on!