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Your Gold, My Pink “Teenage Riot

by Patrick ST. Michel

Special To The Japan Times

Your Gold, My Pink’s decision to name its debut full-length album “Teenage Riot” shows some serious guts from the young quartet. It’s a title that has certain connotations, that either the band embraces the adolescent rebellion of punk — or just really likes Sonic Youth. This “Teenage Riot,” though, sounds very little like either of those options. It mirrors the hormone-addled teen years well — Your Gold, My Pink swings between attitudes from song to song, the band going from dreamy to dour, sincerity turning to snark in seconds. This variety of emotions, coupled with an indie-rock sound unafraid to show off its sensitive side, makes “Teenage Riot” an enjoyable listen.

The band’s first two mini-albums introduced Your Gold, My Pink as an energetic indie-pop outfit in the mold of England’s yelpy Los Campesinos!, the sort of cheerleading that sounds great in small doses but becomes annoying after 10 minutes. Thankfully, “Teenage Riot” finds the band expanding its style, the opening number, “Girls & Boys (and Ladies & Gentlemen),” takes cues from Broadway musicals; the song’s let’s-put-on-a-show vibe is so infectious that it could even appear in a Muppets movie. The foursome has also got dreamier, as on “Virgin Suicides” and “Exit.” The latter swirls twinkling bell chimes, harp notes and a guitar together to form a wide-eyed album highlight.

This sincerity doesn’t always work in the band’s favor — the handclap-heavy “Aoi Haru” (“Blue Spring”) and the twee upchuck of “Hum Hema Hee” in particular miss the mark.

Yet Your Gold, My Pink interjects some sneering to balance out the LiveJournal confessions, as on the Vampire-Weekend-aping “Love Is Dead,” which has lines such as “you son of a bitch!” Elsewhere, the group sings about “dancing like Ian Curtis” and reference teen-favorites Nirvana by ending a song with the line: “I hate myself and I want to die.” It’s an overly dramatic move, but then, what’s a teenager without drama?