A - Teen Dance Ordinance
The guys from A are back with their fourth album, 'Teen Dance Ordinance', an album produced by Terry Date, the famous producer of bands such as Pantera, Deftones and Soundgarden. They have the ultimate honour of being the only UK band to ever have been produced by this very special man.
The album is named after an entertainment law that governed Seattle and Washington between 1985 and 2002, a strange rule which stated that if a gig allowed under 18s in, then the only people who could attend it must be between 15 and 18 years old. Why choose such a name? Do we have to expect tracks that will appeal to ordinary teenagers?
When listening to the album you soon realise that this is not the case although their sound seems to be more mainstream-oriented than on previous releases. Out of the 12 tracks, only three have the typical and expected'A' sound: 'The Better Art Of Making Sense', '2nd Coming' and 'Wake Up'. Those three songs are pure punk rock tunes, full of energy and definitely making you want to stand up and sing with the band.
The rest of the album is a mix of pop, Californian rock and mainstream rock. When listening to 'Hey', you ask yourself if a mistake has not been made as it is a pure pop track, having some kind of a Beach Boys signature. Maybe the boys just want to explore new horizons... who knows!
Two tracks stick out of the lot : 'Someone Else' and 'Wisdom'. The first one shows a darker and deeper side of the band and allows them to show some emotion, but without losing the lively sound. The latter is an extremely refreshing rock tune where slower and more rocky moments alternate which, despite being an old trick doesn't fail to surprise you and beg for another listen.
'Rush song' has been chosen as the first single, a clever choice as it had all the ingredients to get noticed: a catchy rhythm, good vocals, nothing too complicated and most of all it does sound like the rock tunes that top the charts at the moment!
'Teen Dance Ordinance' is a very good album though the sounds are not original and can be heard in all the pop/rock tracks playing on every radio station right now. The band has broken into the mainstream thanks to its previous album ('Hi-Fi Serious') and is now popular all over the world which is maybe why they appear to take fewer risks and attempt to appeal to as many people as possible with this album. Let's hope that they will not go too far and that they will retain their identity!