Album Review: Smash Hits!!

Hailing from Tokyo, Teengenerate was a short-lived garage punk rock band from 1993 to 1996, reforming again for a short time back in 2005. According to the message on the CD insert, written by Hiroshi Sekigushi of Screaming Fist Magazine (a publication which I can’t find ANY information on), “Smash Hits!!” is a compilation of singles put together by simply “Dave,” of Estrus Records.

Many of the singles are actually covers of songs by other bands, which Hiroshi lists and I will also list: Wild Weekend by The Zeroes, Just Head by The Nervous Eaters, Savage by Fun Things, Midnight to Six Man by The Pretty Things, and Talk Talk Talk Talk by The Reaction, whose singer went on to form the more well-known band, Talk Talk.

Hiroshi’s message about Teengenerate is full of praise for their upbeat, fun style, and I agree that the record is definitely upbeat and fun. As is the issue with many true punk bands, the songs can start to blend together because so many of the riffs sound the same. Teengenerate has a beautiful, driving guitar tone, but it’s difficult to call any of their songs interesting, at least when listening to them right after each other. I also tend to like the songs that don’t end up singles from most bands that I listen to, so it may be the case that a compilation of Teengenerate’s singles just isn’t for me. As someone who needs strong lyrics to focus on, too, “Smash Hits!!” REALLY isn’t the album for me, because Teengenerate, according to their Wikipedia page, is known for their often unintelligible vocals. Very punk! Not my thing. But if you’re into garage punk and you can find “Smash Hits!!” somewhere out there (you won’t find it on Spotify), you might just love Teengenerate.