"Let’s Get Hurt"
Smash Hits!, 1995
I spent a lot of time in my car in the mid-90s. Being a pizza delivery driver is a lifestyle choice, I suppose. Needless to say, I had plenty of time to listen to music and it was during these years that I took so many chances when buying tapes and cds. The label an album was released on held more sway at the time, and I bought Smash Hits! solely because it was released on Estrus. I hadn’t ever heard a note of a Teengenerate recording, but I had a pretty general idea what awaited me.
Well, a general idea and a final realization are two entirely different things. Teengenerate was punky, sure. Garagey? Yep. Lo-fi? Extremely. At their core was a colossal energy. Just listening to them get through one song, and then another, and then even another, was exhilarating! And exhausting!
As easy as it would be to say they just set a tape recorder in the middle of a room and went through fifteen songs, it actually sounds better than that. Each instrument in the band is clear, and was captured correctly. It’s just that once it came time to mix, the engineer found the proper level and then DOUBLED it. Teengenerate sounds amazingly loud at low volumes, and at high volumes will peel the skin off your face.
And that brings us to the particular song “Let’s Get Hurt”. A lot of Teengenerate’s repertoire is built on the same fundamentals: hot riff, speedy tempo and a full moon howl. There’s a mode they would settle into and rarely break out of. Occasionally, though, one song would have just a little something extra. In “Let’s Get Hurt,” Teengenerate threw in a bit of British Invasion r&b, Van Morrison style. Of course you’d be forgiven for missing it, what with the going deaf from the volume. It’s there, though. You strip the distortion and the aggression away, and you’re left with a marvelous song that could’ve been at home on Them Again.
Teengenerate only survived for four years. That must have been all they could endure, because the grind of being that fucking rad must do a band in.