Teenage Love13 Brings Dirty Rotten Punk

No Excuses (169 Recordings) both mocks and revels in excess.

Sound quality's not always a prime consideration for underground punk bands. In fact, scuzzy sound is often a badge of street cred. It certainly wasn't a priority for previous Teenage Love recordings like Live at Vic 'n' Bill's. On this surprising new disc, TL—singer Rus Harper, bassist (and Metro Pulse contributor) John Sewell, guitarist Jeff Cregger, and drummer Jay Martin—sound just as pissed off as they did in the 1980s, and this time you can actually hear it. Recorded in a basement studio in Oak Ridge last summer and produced by Seva, No Excuses is still dirty and rotten old-school punk, somewhere right in between the three-chord rock 'n' roll fervor of first-generation bands like The Damned and the fast-and-loose velocity of American hardcore. Harper and Sewell spit vitriol at long-standing targets ("Redneck") and find a way to both mock and revel in excess ("Life of Booze," "Dirty Side of Town"). For any band, it's a pretty grand statement; for a couple of guys nobody expected to still be standing in 2009, it's that much better.