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Critics' Choice
THE EX-TEENS’ ARRESTING
POST-ADOLESCENCE
9/14/17

By Bud Scoppa

While we’ve been ceaselessly grinding away at the HITS cesspool, my longtime colleague Simon Glickman has somehow found the time and energy to moonlight as a rock artiste, writing and recording the six-song EP Get on an Ice Floe with several talented pals, including multi-instrumentalist and onetime 20/20 member Chris Silagyi and bass player Bill Tutton, ex-Geraldine Fibbers.

As far as I know, The Ex Teens, as he’s dubbed his project, is Simon’s first undertaking of this sort since he hung up his rock & roll shoes; he spent a chunk of the ’90s and the early part of this century as the floppy-haired frontman of L.A. power-popsters Spanish Kitchen.

What’s intriguing about these songs and performances is that Simon and his mates are determined to have it both ways, embracing classic-rock tropes while cunningly sending them up. On the intricately structured mock-epic opener “Empire in Decline” as well as twin slammers “Kiss Me, I’m Dead” and “The New Victorians,” the Ex Teens’ take on serious playfulness is less Spinal Tap and more Tubes, right down to Simon’s Fee Waybill-like winking theatricality.

The overarching mode of Simon's lyric is self-recrimination, fermented to 120-proof self-loathing during his years of hiding under his desk at HITS, which is most melodramatically overt in “The Wretched of the Earth (Isabel).” The psychochemical killer “Shy People Need Alcohol” has a “been there, done that” veracity, while the downtrodden suburbanite narrator of “Sunday Band” would much prefer to crank up some power chords in his garage than spend the weekend cleaning it out.

Throughout Get on an Ice Floe, Simon and his fellow Ex Teens inflate First World problems to grandiose proportions, only to gleefully puncture their own pretensions. Not that far removed from his day job, in a sense.

 

Apple Music/iTunes: Get on an Ice Floe - EP