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Last week, Houston's own Team Science released the final posthumous release by late local mod-punks Teenage Kicks. Sadly, the band broke up in late March and the band members have gone on to other bands and projects such as the blues-stomping Passengers and the monthly Fistful of Soul night at the Mink. The band's last show was the Masshysteria gig on March 26 with the Secret Prostitutes upstairs at the Mink, the band's usual stomping grounds. The story of the Kicks is short and bittersweet, just like the just-released Uptight LP which we have been listening to for the past week seemingly on repeat (and is now available at Cactus Music). We've been flipping over the black circle every half-hour attempting to make sense of why these dudes aren't either headlining on any given night at the Mink or opening for a national band coming through Walter's. It's strange to hear a band that is so vital and energetic and think that they are no more. Rocks Off sees these fellas at bars and in stores almost every week. It's like watching your divorced parents smiling and eating dinner and going home separately.
The ten tracks mirror the story of the band from its beginnings to its fractured end. We could pound the Facebook and e-mail pavement to get the nitty gritty on the break-up, but we don't want a spotty story to tarnish the image we have in our heads now in the aftermath. From the first track "Executive Decision," Uptight is the sound of growing up. Its boys and girls forced to act like men and women. Your mid-twenties are a time when you start separating friends from acquaintances and acquaintances from wordless faces. Ultimately, there is still hope in the Kicks' music, because the tumult of being this age doesn't last, and Uptight is a good document of the anxiety, self-doubt and rage that comes with it. Even though "Our Last Song" is a scorched-scene view of people ignoring your band and the city you have put so much into, all the ex-Kicks should know that they made a perfect punk album. We just wish that all the kids in town could see that too.