Teenage Harlets - Up the Fixx (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Teenage Harlets

Up the Fixx (2006)


Yeah, the 1960s are back, but they've been back for a while. Acts like the Hives, the Strokes, and the Vines hit it big in the mainstream a few years back, but there are still bands doing retro `60s in the punk tradition of bands like the Stooges and MC5. Joining the ranks of such contemporary garage punk revivalists as the Briefs and Gas Huffer, Teenage Harlets take the garage sound back to the roots. Way back. So far back, in fact, that they make the original garage bands of the 1960s sound primitive.

Up the Fixx is 20 songs (plus two secret tracks) that demonstrate the formula that's worked for 40 years: short, energetic songs, with simple lyrics and catchy though repetitive guitar hooks. There's really no point in trying to pick out the "best" songs on an album like this. They're all good, yet they're all very similar: sloppy blues-scale guitars, double snare pounds, and muffled sing/shouting vocals. If there was a standout track on Up the Fixx, it would easily be the infectious "Do the Jerk," which sounds an awful lot like the Surfaris' "Wipeout" with the addition of catchy call-and-response group vocals and superior drumming. The blistering punk track "She Said" demonstrates some of the most impressive musicianship on the album with slick guitar playing and a driving rhythm under incomprehensible, babbling vocals.

Take Up the Fixx for what it is: energetic, fun rock and roll. There's nothing groundbreaking here, but for a band going for a retro sound, that's kind of the point. Chances are after just a listen or two, you'll want to be dancing around like a fool, clapping your hands to the rhythm and shouting at your friends to "do the jerk" too. Hey, that kinda rhymes. I should write lyrics for the Teenage Harlets.