All the boys of 90s Teen are too young to have been teenagers for the better part of the Nineties — but what guitarist Alex Puentes describes as their “haphazard approach” channels the D.I.Y. spirit of the era so well, it’s like they lived it themselves. The kind of aural insanity the trio produces — the other two-thirds include bassist Rick Diaz and drummer Chris Mejia — is best heard live, when it’s super loud and fuzzy and the good kind of sloppy.
“[90s Teen] is an attempt at creating a bit of chaos with the rock ‘n’ roll we’ve come to hold dear to us,” Puentes explains. “The grouping of songs we’ve written seem to touch on a number of faster, stranger, and noisier genres, and easily stray from one another.” Definitely: a little chaotic, a little messy, but well-intentioned, and ultimately fantastic.
It’s worth noting that it was not the current prevalence of the Nineties in popular culture (a nostalgic love for the aesthetics of rave culture and flicks like The Craft) that brought the band to life. “I knew we weren’t the only freaks rehashing the Nineties!” Puentes jokes. “It’s not unlikely that social reminiscing of the Millennium’s past decade had a latent affect on us, but we went with something that had a satirical, angsty pop feel to it. It suggests very little other than that.”
What their sound does suggest is a lifestyle, a series of friendships — 90s’ Teens roots overall. These guys have collaborated with and played together for years, sometimes as permanent players and other times as live substitutes, and all of it’s been good — see This Heart Electric, Animals of the Arctic, hahahelp!, and, on a less serious note, Fineberg (of Fineberg, we shall say nothing). The birth of 90s Teen was tied to hanging out: “Boredom was battering my brain in the late spring of 2011,” says Puentes. “Inebriating beverages were enjoyed, along with other mind-enhancing substances, and we began to muster 90s Teens up — that’s what friends are for.”
A few months back, the boys recorded a three-song E.P. at local legend Rat Bastard’s house on South Beach, but their live sets have been denser than a trio of tracks. There are even a bunch of covers; “Our version of ‘Wipeout’ by the Surfaris is a real firecracker!” exclaims Puentes. Will the rest of those songs make it onto a full-length? “A full-length hasn’t been mentioned,” Puentes says. “The shorter format seems to do it for us creatively, since our attention spans are fairly short.” If that’s not Nineties and punk-inspired, what is? Here’s hoping for a second E.P.
90s Teen. With New Coke, Cop City / Chill Pillars, and Suede Dudes. 10 p.m. Saturday, April 28, at The Snooze Theatre, 798 10th St., Lake Park. Admission is $5; all ages.