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LIVE! – Teenagers In Tokyo

July 19, 2010 by  

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LIVE! – Teenagers In Tokyo

ARTIST: Teenagers In Tokyo
SUPPORT: Night Bus
VENUE, TOWN: The Lexington, London
DATE: 15th July 2010

FIVE WORD REVIEW: Dark, stylish, electro arthouse blowout

MAIN REVIEW: Stylish and spooky, the immaculate uniforms and faces of Teenagers in Tokyo lend the quintet a Midwich-Cuckoos-like vibe; they certainly look out of place in a venue that looks like it was taken straight from a converted bingo hall. And then they begin:

It’s Electro, Jim, but not as you know it.

They‘ve chucked the brattish exuberance and geekish air you might associate with indie electro for a sort of dark sophistication. It’s not so much that they’re cooler as downright colder. An air of haunting menace exudes from each song. This is in no small part due to the vocals: loud, grandiose, passionate and delivered with a sneering, disdainful air that lights up rather than alienates. The most remarkable thing is that they manage to achieve this so effortlessly, leaving you with an empty gnawing feeling in the small of your back; like being stalked down a misty alley if the killer from Halloween had a thing for synths and shoulder pads.

It’s not all doom and gloom though, the 80s lie heavy in influence over these upstarts, conjuring fond memories of the best of Flock of Seagulls and even the mighty Depeche Mode. As homage, they even manage to spin out a cracking update of Hall & Oates’ classic ‘Maneater’. The crowd’s certainly eats it up, endorsements and exclamations of eternal devotions ring out from the packed dance floor, which only heats up when they roll around to ‘Robocat’; embracing their tongue-in-cheek side the band produce a disjointed, devilish beat that sounds like a witches’ midnight mass being held in a disco hall.

They finish on an absolute belter, Black Bones. A massive tribal drumbeat flares up and the band goes wild; everyone has a drumstick and appear to beating whatever comes into reach; punctuated by what can only be described as ‘Coyote-like blips’ from the back-up vocalist. It feels primal and raw, and quite brilliant.




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