They may call what they play “Trash Pop”, but the reality is that Tweens play pure, unadulterated punk rock.
Sam Cowan (bass) and B.J. Marsee (drums) kept the groove tight, complimenting Bridget Battle’s angst-laden vocals and wailing guitar. Their sound answers the question of what would happen if the Shangri-Las and Ramones had got together and had a daughter. They would name her Bridget, of course.
The Cincinnati power-trio played a high energy, fast-paced set at Double Happiness in Columbus last night, headlining a four-band bill. They took to the stage just past the midnight hour, burning through an 11-song set interspersed with five new songs.
Opening with the rocking Bored in this City from their eponymous release, they wasted no time in making the crowd take notice. Full of energy, they were in your face from the first riff.
Cold Shoulder, one of five new songs, had a very Breeders vibe (with a hint of Runaways-era Joan Jett) to it. They gave the appearance of playing loose, but kept the pace tight. Cowan’s driving bass groove kicked off Forever, with Battle channeling her inner Shangri-Las.
Battle prefaced the slower tempo of The Bad with the Good, another new song, by saying they had never played it live. Her voice was full of pain, bringing the crowd inside her anguish.
They rolled right into their third new song of the set, Aches & Pains, that began slow, before kicking into high-gear. Once again, Battle’s emotion bled through her vocals. The song was melodic and in-your-face at the same time; an impressive feat not many bands can pull off.
Don’t Wait Up was a powerful force, once again full of youthful angst. The sub-three minute full-out rocker Rattle + Rollin’ showcased a “Ramones meet The Gits” influence that was unmistakable.
The new song, Amps, was next up, with the band meshing so well that they almost became a churning force on the stage. The Worst was a guitar-driven punk rocker, with Marsee’s drums carrying a Surfaris beat throughout the song.
Star Studder was bright and tight, with Battle almost wailing the lyrics. They closed their set with the uptempo Be Mean, with Battle seemingly spitting out “I want you to be mean to me.”
While their self-titled album was released in 2014, and is good, their live set showed an energy that didn’t translate into the studio when they recorded the album. They brought such verve and moxie to their songs that you couldn’t stand still.
Tweens are a band you need to experience live to get the full scope and effect of Battle, Cowan and Marsee musical interplay.
Setlist (* denotes new song)
- Bored in this City
- Cold Shoulder *
- The Bad with the Good *
- Aches & Pains *
- Don’t Wait Up
- Rattle + Rollin’
- Amps *
- The Worst *
- Star Studder
- Be Mean