Teen Idols - Nothing to Prove (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Teen Idols

Nothing to Prove (2003)

Fueled By Ramen

The Teen Idols were one of the first punk bands I ever discovered completely on my own. At the disaster area that was the Chicago Warped Tour stop in 1997, I purchased the Honest Don's Welcome Wagon compilation for something like two dollars. I immediately fell in love with almost every single song on the disc, and while even though I never really explored past that disc with a good majority of those bands, the Teen Idols' "Lovely Day" always stood out for me. After receiving their self-titled disc from my brother for Christmas in 1997, I fell completely in love with the band's pogo-punk gems like "One Pill," "Porno Shop," and "Anybody Else."

Since I received that disc, I've aged 6 years, and the band put out two more full-lengths on Honest Don's, each getting progressively more boring and flat. I still considered myself a fan of the band, but only their self-titled disc ever showed up in my heavy rotation [and even now I wonder if it was just for nostalgia purposes].

Then came the turmoil. The original singer of the band left, they were dropped from Honest Don's, and for a while it looked like the Idols were done for. Suddenly, though, new singer Kevin showed up, the band put out a split EP with Squirtgun [who ironically have their new album coming out on Honest Don's], and got signed to Fueled By Ramen. It looked to be a revitalization of sorts for the group, but only time would tell if they would continue onward with their descent into mediocrity.

So what are my thoughts on Nothing to Prove, you may ask? "Meh" more or less sums it up. The band's ferocity appears infrequently [shining most on opening track "Backstabber"], and their patented male/female triple harmonies don't really make much of an impression on me, save "Clueless." The energy seems to be there from the band, but the songwriting just isn't there anymore. I'm not saying writing a song about mopping up bodily fluids at an adult video store is worth a songwriting grammy, but the new stuff just doesn't have any kick to it at all. Many of the album's tracks also contain one of my biggest musical pet peeves, as well - tracks that fade out instead of just ending. That shit is annoying, yo.

I don't mean to hate on the Teen Idols, especially now that they're broken up. I guess my intentions with this review are to let people know that the Teen Idols at one point used to be the kings of the pogo-punk heap, and their self-titled disc is a worthy buy. Consider this album for fans only.

Turning The Tide