Bridget Battle’s last band might have been a high school choir, but the 21-year-old singer for Cincinnati’s Tweens is no goody two shoes. Look no further for proof than their forthcoming Self-Titled LP, the punk-tinged debut from the trash-pop trio—Battle on vocals and guitar, Peyton Copes on bass and Jerri Queen on drums—that showcases a melodic, driven and exceedingly catchy sound that’s anything but well behaved.
Tweens only formed in 2012, but has already made a name for themselves among fans—including The Breeders, who invited the band to open for them on a recent U.S. tour. The story goes that Kim Deal booked the band for one gig on the recommendation of Jim Blaze, owner of Cincinnati record shop Shake It Records, and was so impressed she brought on band to play select East Coast gigs and a full West Coast tour. Additionally, the band toured with the Black Lips, their partners in a party-centric attitude.
Despite the established friends, Tweens are very much their own band, bratty and precocious, sincere and genuine. The band’s name conjuresjust the right image: screaming hordes afflicted with Beatlemania, teenyboppers out for a good time, the underage, over-the-top punks in Ladies and Gentlemen: The Fabulous Stains. Think of cheery kids at their most excited, but juxtaposed with lyrics about bad boyfriends and unrelenting independency. Tweens are not a riot grrrl revisionist band, but they are a ferociously honest one.
The trio has come a long way from their early demos and previously released Live at the Mohawk EP. Tweens, is a collection of new, garage-influenced tracks—produced by Eli Janney—sprinkled with some of the band’s older, doo-wop influenced favorites. The first single, “Be Mean,” is a biting anthem, with Battle crooning, “I want you to be mean to me,” while “Forever” harkens back to a girl-gang sound, this time with driving bass. The band sites Bay Area punks The Donnas, The Trashwomen and the Bobbyteens as influences—and that bubblegum badass vibe is apparent throughout the full-length—but the sound Tweens are creating is truly their own. So rat your hair, slip on your leather jacket and hold on tight because Tweens may be young but they’re certainly not naïve, and with the release of this freshman LP, they’re breaking curfew and nobody’s safe.