Imperial Teen burst back into the musical arena after 7 years with their earnestly titled Now We Are Timeless. The San Franciscan indie-pop band formed in 1996, are known for the girl/boy harmonies and unannounced turning off of instruments during their sets. Such antics are fondly remembered by fans and with their sixth studio album, they have created an album that is sure to solidify them as a new band with new younger, 90’s nostalgia loving fans.
The title of the album is ludicrous, but Imperial Teen is more than aware. But with their collective sense of irony and tongue in cheek humor, they tackle the rise and fall of stardom as well earnestly hoping that they will indeed be timeless. And with their extremely catchy melodies, crashing guitars and stomping keyboards, Now We Are Timeless is an album of authenticity and truth, while also poking a large sarcastic bear.
“We Do What We Do Best”, crunches into a rocking drum beat, the constant refrain of the title is a reminder that Imperial Teen’s success hasn’t been down to luck. They have created success from a musical mix of indie-pop and genre-bending antics to quite literally stand the test of time. This track is a juxtaposition of many things. It is non-sensical while being pointed, it is teenage angst while also being lyrically mature. It is a sweaty basement gig kind of track that reels you in and spits you back out, with a reassuring smile.
Pure rock’n’roll is “How We Say Goodbye” draws you in with a strumming simplicity. Its musicality is repetitive and catchy. It is weirdly like a conference, with Imperial Teen on podium informing its fans. Informing them that words that are trusted should always be approached with skepticism. The lyrics can be dissected in whatever political/personal sphere you like, but it really doesn’t matter about what the lyrics mean. It’s more about the perception of the lyrics to the listener. And really, that’s the universal process that Imperial Teen has used to keep themselves timeless. Once there is truth and authenticity, life is all down to perception.
When it comes to perception and particular the perception of disobedience, “The Girl”, is a rambunctious rebellious track that encompasses driving guitar lines, unapologetically truthful vocals and incredible levels of collective defiance. It speaks of truth, honesty and being completely yourself. While rebellious tracks generally focus on the unruly individual, this track also hints towards the person on the other side of the line. Not their reactions to wayward acts but more a description of how they are different. A mature approach to the timeless and everlasting journey of self-acceptance.
While the title of Now We Are Timeless is used tongue in cheek, this album hints that Imperial Teen may actually be timeless. Inherently 90’s indie-pop, slightly grungy with a glossy sheen, Imperial Teen has produced an album that reconnects with history, while no doubt, connecting with new fans in search of brand new music, nostalgic 90’s style.