Modern Dances

Teen Girl Scientist Monthly

Independent releases, 2013

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


With a band name like this, you almost can count on Teen Girl Scientist Monthly being from Brooklyn, which is seemingly the epicenter for not only inventive indie rock but also unusual band names. The sextet's debut Modern Dances certainly lives up to buzz that constantly surrounds their city. Armed with dual gender vocals, lively synth, charged riffs and powerful rhythms, this is an intelligent listen that isn't afraid to bring hooks, sing-a-long choruses, and upbeat, tuneful indie pop meets alt rock. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

“Summer Skin” starts things off and literally sounds like summer – it's happy go lucky, vibrant, and pop-oriented indie rock fun. Tracks like “It's On,” “Hear Boy Talk” and “New Age” follow a similar path, illuminating jangly guitar work and crisp drumming with an infectious energy. Female vocals dominate the album; sometimes they are breathy, other times sultry, and other times loud and delivered flawlessly (though the male vocals have plenty of charm, too).

While a good chunk of this certainly falls under what used to be college rock (but without the woe-is-me attitude), TGSM switches gears on the slower, introspective “Faith,” the almost cathedral style rock on “Your Kind,” or the album closer “Outside,” which starts with an Americana feel before building into louder post-punk. Other standouts include “Little Fur,” which features violins and folk-like feelings with emphasis on acoustic guitars, and the almost pop-punk feel of "Ghost Coast.”

Though this will ultimately fall under the indie rock umbrella, there’s a wealth of sounds here, from '80s synth-pop to orchestral backdrops to driving, melodic post-punk. It would be hard to imagine anyone not enjoying this on some level, and for those with an ear for this sound, this is an absolutely glorious, radiant and brilliant album that occasionally reminded of the best moments of Sleater-Kinney or Rainer Maria. This easily moved into the slot of the current best album of the year for me.

Rating: A

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