Teen Ravine – S/T

Review by Dylan Hudecki (The Dill)

Consummate gentlemen, music auteurs, production gurus, style vixens Nick Rose (Dwayne Gretzky, Sweet Thing) and Dan Griffin (solo artist, ex-Arkells) made a fantastic summer album that some of you may have missed. The fact that it is now Fall shouldn’t stop you from looking this one up. The notion that this album was made mostly in a home studio is baffling to me, though I’m sure no baffles where used during this recording (huge music nerd pun).

They certainly wear their love of Yacht Rock well on every jam. Griffin’s DJ gigs (as DJ Toto Recall) playing strictly this genre hasn’t hurt his ear for taste and influences, on the contrary! And Rose arrives to the party like the pop star crooner chameleon that he is with his pitch perfect voice, sometimes sounding one minute like Paul Simon, the next 10cc, the next a spot-on Richard Marx. It’s Rose’s years of playing the biggest pop hit songs ever recorded to massive crowds all over North America being the co-front man of the party rockers Dwayne Gretzky that has turned his voice, touch and timbre into a perfectly honed weapon… and in this incarnation, he uses it for swagger, longing and sex appeal.

On “Above Average” the CoCo Cabana Club vibes start right off the bat and remind the listener of early Steely Dan. It’s a song mostly about arms. People with 4 arms, 3, some with none. Nick only having 2, asks, “…is that good enough for you?” On “Permanent Honeymoon” they pine over a 50’s doo-wop standard and write about a hypothetical honeymoon.

One of the great things about Teen Ravine is that they spare nothing when it comes to production. Every single beat, keyboard line, sax solo is very deliberate. Some might find this a touch precious or campy, but I’m impressed by their dedication and loyalty to the aesthetic. It meanders across the Dad Rock production ocean from Doobie Brothers Island, to Toto town, and then visits Corey Hart making out with Tiffany in 1987. If you want to travel with Teen Ravine, they’ll pick you up at dusk in a white Corvette wearing pastel pants and leather jackets too big, with sleeves rolled up, and you’ll ride off into the sunset.