Feel the Sound
Ever since their 1996 debut, Imperial Teen have stuck to a schedule that seems more catered to what members have going on in their personal lives than to a pressing need to make music with any sort of regularity. Their fifth album, and first since 2007’s The Hair the TV the Baby and the Band, takes a stroll through the indie-pop landscape they helped forge and finds a type of peace within the everyday turmoil of being moms, dads, husbands, and wives. But none of these grown-up responsibilities has made Imperial Teen’s music any less cheery. From the opening sugar rush of “Runaway,” they inflate Feel the Sound with new-wave drums, boy-girl vocals, soaring synths, and killer hooks. It doesn’t all fall into place (they forgot to finish the plodding “Hanging About”), but it’s still surprisingly focused for what amounts to a part-time band.