To be honest, the self-titled debut album by Columbia City’s Teaser is the first album I’ve been intimidated to review. Sure, the cover is benign enough, but remove the CD from the tray and you’ll see that the band is five tough-looking guys posing on their massive motorcycles in a brick-walled alley. The song titles include “Cock Rock” and “Cocaine and Whores,” titles I would normally take to be tongue in cheek, except I don’t think these guys are the type to lace their songs with ironic humor. Besides, I’m “in the book,” and what if one day they decide to take a short road trip to Fort Wayne and pay a visit to that writer guy who gave them a bad review?
So let me start off by saying, without even listening to a single song, that Teaser by Teaser is, hands down, the best album of the year, local, national or international. Heck, it’s the album of the century!
All joking aside, the songs on this album really rip. They’re raw and real, the exact opposite of the over-produced, sugar-coated music that passes for rock these days. The self-titled title track from their self-titled album leads things off with a menacing, gritty guitar riff by Troy Shifflett while Scott Clark easily holds his own on bass. The lyrics promise that Teaser will “stand and deliver,” and that if you “want the best” they’ll make you “forget the rest” ’cause “We’re coming’ to your town/ … We’ll make you party down.” “Cock Rock” has a low-flanged guitar reminiscent of Black Sabbath, bringing in a heavier, almost nu-metal sound, while another classic metal band, Judas Priest, holds court in “Hands In the Air.” Mike Snyder gets a workout in “Hands” with loads of double kick drums, while either Ken BeBout or Jaron Clark (dual vocalists … because they can) display an astounding range, belting out lyrics of “Another bottle in my hand/Another stranger in my bed/Another night I won’t remember.”
Teaser takes on other classic rock themes like raisin’ hell in a hotel (the heart-pounding “All Fired Up”), easy women (“D.F.F.” which stands for Drink, Fight and F[ornicate]), bitchy women (“Let Me Be”) and crazy woman (the creepy “Psycho” with uneasy vocal effects). They expand a bit with “King and Country,” going almost Iron Maiden with a tale of conquest and defending your property, though thankfully without the operatic vocals. Teaser concludes with the string section that opens “Cocaine and Whores,” though it isn’t long before the keyboards are tossed to the side and Teaser are back to their old tricks, laying down solid rock riffs while tossing out lyrical references to songs by The Who. Find them all and you win a ride on the back of their motorcycles. Sorry, only hot chicks need apply.
The 12 songs on Teaser are exactly what you think they would be: unpretentious, blue collar hard rock songs about living fast and playing hard, each topped off with a smoking hot melodic guitar solo two-thirds of the way through. It’s classic rock, 80s metal and a touch of the 90s, all played with the kind of pent-up energy that can only come from five guys frustrated with their day jobs. In short, Teaser doesn’t just tease you with the hope of great music. It delivers with a massive punch to the jaw. (Jason Hoffman)
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