Teen-Rebel Dopefiends - Demo-nstration (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Teen-Rebel Dopefiends

Demo-nstration (2011)

Not Shy of the DIY

Six tracks of scuzzy, blues-tinged, earthy garage punk rock. Really, if any of those words apply to music that you like, then you should really give this EP a go, especially given its ridiculously low price for a physical copy or the even lower price for the free download from bandcamp.

There are influences and/or familiar elements evident throughout this EP, and although sometimes that can get a bit frustrating with some bands, the Teen-Rebel Dopefiends manage to do it in a way that seems totally natural, without any part of it sounding contrived. Those influences include vocals sounding like Jake Burns (Stiff Little Fingers) at one stage to the slightly more extreme and Dean Beddis (Cowboy Killers) at another, with some Springsteen similarities thrown in for good measure. Musically, there are nods towards the Computers, and also the long-extinct Space Cookie, whilst you could also add in a number of No Idea-type bands that there appear to be hints of too, which again adds some variety into the mix.

With songs that seem to twist their way into your head, fixing themselves into place so that you can't shake them free, this is a band that seem to be able to write some catchy songs whilst still retaining a punk-as-fuck attitude.

From when the opening track "Rebel Remedy" kicks in, this EP doesn't really take up much time, but if like me you find yourself hitting repeat, then you could easily find yourself having listened to it half a dozen times and still wanting more.

Third track "No Problems" finds the band slowing down a little bit and introducing a harmonica to give even more of a blues/Springsteen feel to this melancholic song, showing that they are quite capable of changing pace effectively without losing any of their edginess.

"Dopefiend Shuffle" finds the band in overdrive with a bluesy, riff-laden tune with a sound reminiscent of Hüsker Dü in places. This might sound like an odd concoction, but it does work, trust me.

With guitars occasionally sounding out of tune, or perhaps with the addition of (deliberate) bum notes, this EP is delivered in a way that is befitting of what the Teen-Rebel Dopefiends are attempting to do.

(Just found out that Teen-Rebel Dopefiends are touring their native UK with Unfun in a month or so–a gig not to be missed.)