The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world










I can’t remember when the first time I heard Teenage Casket Company was, but I remember the song: the stunning opening track from their first album DIAL IT UP – the track was ‘One Thing You Don’t Need’.  The album itself is still one of my favorites of the last ten years.  If I’d had a website back in 2005 it would have been my album of the year.


If you love music with hooks, then look no further as Teenage Casket Company has hooks you could reel in a fleet of oil tankers with. If you want music to take you to another place where it’s always summer, hair is long and living is easy Teenage Casket Company is the soundtrack. In fact listening to that first album all over again, or 2006’s ‘Eat Your Heart Out’ or even the 2011 collection ‘Best kept Secret’ (that added ‘Best Friend is My Radio’ which appears here) it’s one of the mysteries of the Universe that Teenage Casket Company remains such a well-kept secret.


Almost eight years later they are back to re-take on the world and on ‘Still Standing’ and they hardly stop for breath or put a foot wrong. For long time fans the fact that the sound has retained all that made the band unique and yet somehow broadened its appeal will be welcome news. To those still unfamiliar with the band it’s hard to adequately describe a band that just sound like all the best bits of all the bands you loved as a kid. Imagine the sheer pop mastery of bands like Cheap Trick, Enuff Z’Nuff or Butch Walker (whose ‘Girl’ they cover here). Imagine the riff-rock splendor of the Ramones or The Wildhearts. Imagine the good times you had listening to bands like Poison, Motley Crue or Def Leppard from the eighties when music was still allowed to be fun. Now take all of that and strip out all the things you disliked about those bands and keep what’s left. What you have left is the essence of Teenage Casket Company.


If you judge albums by sheer addictiveness, this just went on constant repeat after first listen. It’s an album that is just so much fun, so life affirming and yet also has its hidden depths. As a front man Rob Wylde has a distinctive voice that suits the band’s sound beautifully, he also  seems to have that innate ability to write liquid gold hooks, it’s a talent very few have, and on a par with someone like say Ginger Wildheart, Donnie Vie or Butch.


On ‘Still Standing’ Teenage Casket Company take what they know and do so well and build on it. Opening track ‘Still Standing’ blasts out of the speakers on a fiery trajectory, after it begins with a quote from Rocky IV. It’s a huge song: larger than life, with a chorus made to sing along to. This is Rock and Roll like it should be – pure unadulterated good time Rock and Roll. And for those of us who still remember when Rock and Roll was all about having a good time rather than squealing about teenage angst and gazing at your shoes it’s a huge relief to find a band doing this so well.


The best thing about ‘Still Standing’ is how the quality holds up throughout. ‘First Night Of Your Life’ soars with optimism that will have you punching the air and talking on the world in moments. Then comes the masterstroke I was lucky enough to hear in acoustic format back in June when Laney and Wylde supported our mate Mike Tramp. ‘(You Only Love Me) When You Hate Me’ (the upcoming video/single) is the song that in any just world would make superstars of these guys. It drips pop perfection from its pores, and drools saccharin-sweet coolness all over the rest of the music you’ve heard this year! It’s perfect pop-rock and if it’s not a hit when released I predict the spontaneous combustion of a million boy bands. (Actually I’ll take that whatever happens)…


Another thing about great albums is that the best songs are merely a matter of opinion, but tell me you’ve heard better and more invigorating songs than “Best Friend is My Radio”; “Takes a Little Time” or “Without You” (a song that manages to capture  the essence of the eighties and inject it with a lethal dose of 2013), and I’ll call your bluff.


Buy the CD and you also get a reworking of ‘Believe in You’ from 2006’s ‘Eat Your Heart Out’: it’s a great take on one of TCC’s finest songs.   


The only thing that has really surprised me is how long these guys have been away, and how great they still sound. The world gets a second chance to discover Teenage Casket Company– and you should lead the way.




Mark Diggins