Belgian indie trio Teen Creeps are keeping their 90’s influenced sound of alt rock and underground grunge alive and well in 2021 with the recent release of their second album, Forever.  Comprising Bert Vliegen (vocals / bass), Joram De Bock (guitars) and Ramses Van den Eede (drums), Teen Creeps have taken a similar musical line to their first album, albeit with it sounding a touch less angry.  At first listen it sounds a little more mellow too, that is until you listen to the often melancholic nature of the lyrics.

The first track, ‘Seeing Shapes‘ leads from the front, giving us an alt rock-indie sound that could be straight from the 90’s; alternating fast and slow rhythms, the tempo and melody juxtapose against the melancholic lyrics that talk of suppressed pain.  “I’m a mess inside” is just one line that stands out and indicates the tone of much of the rest of the tracks – mellower it is not.

The video has a feel of the 90’s too – and although filmed pre-Covid, ends up as a homage to live gigs.  Perfect timing.

The recipe of alternate slow and fast rhythms continues into ‘Signal Dream‘ before being replaced by the more classic rock sounding ‘Fall Out‘, definitely one for dancing to. The slow / fast tempo pattern returns later in the album, notably in ‘Forever’ and ‘Crash Land‘, the latter being as close to a ballad as you’re likely to find on a Teen Creeps album (it’s also got an epic guitar solo). 

More even in tempo, in contrast to the lyrics, ‘Brothers‘, ‘Defender‘ and ‘Toughen Up‘ shine a light on hidden mental pain, highlighting the difficulties faced by both sufferer and those around them.  Lyrics such as “it’s hard to be there for somebody else when you’re sad in your own skin” and “tugging at my heartstrings, I’d hate to see you drown” are full of empathy.  Equally, there are some more upbeat, positive vibes in there, with “just remember how we got here, what’s lost can be found” and “you’ve got a little bit of time on your hands, just sit back, just slow down, don’t beat yourself up” showing there can be light after dark.

Forever is an album full of catchy hooks with a serious lyrical undercurrent. It’s worth listening to more than once.

Teen Creeps advice for aspiring musicians is to the point, with a cheeky tip at the end!

“Play what you like and try to have fun doing it. If you’re not having fun, you’ll never keep it up. This way, even if there’s no huge crowd for your show, you will still enjoy yourselves. Oh yeah, and don’t forget to tune!”

Forever was released on 22 January 2021 on [PIAS] Records. Get your copy here.

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