Time goes sailing on, like a skipping rock...
Caged Animals - Teenagers in Heat
“I want to believe that you and me will always be teenagers in heat...”
I don’t think I have been so affected by a song for a long time. Teenagers in Heat fills me with a deep yearning and sadness for an unreachable past. First time I heard it I felt like I'd been punched in the stomach. Last FM stats reveal that I’ve listened to it 38 times in the past week, but that has a lot to do with its brevity - clocking in at just shy of two minutes it always leaves me wanting more. “Yearning” is a word that regularly crops up in descriptions of a lot of the music coming out of the US underground at the moment (Summer Camp, Washed Out, Teen Daze, etc), and there is more desire and longing on display in this one song than in an entire John Hughes movie. It borrows a little bit from Dion and the Belmonts A Teenager in Love (which I’m guessing is its inspiration), but the synthetic beats, chiming melody and Caged Animals’ mainman Vincent Cacchione’s emotive falsetto make it an altogether more modern interpretation of aching teenage lust. Paul Lester of the Guardian called it “doo-wop dubstep” and, as terrible as that union might sound, it’s a neat analogy.
But why am I so obsessed? I guess there is a part of me that can't quite believe that I'm not still 15-years-old, daydreaming about marrying Molly Ringwald while doing my paper round. But it’s not like I even want to be a teenager again, and certainly not one “in heat”. That gets seriously complicated. Nope, this is just another example of how music can reach deep into our unconscious with its slender fingers, teasing out feelings that we assume we’ve long since buried. The devious bastard...
I have no idea what the rest of the album sounds like as I haven’t got past this one song yet, and The New Yorker's proclamation of Caged Animals as “a hip-hop-influenced Velvet Underground” hasn’t encouraged me to investigate further, but I’m sure I will. But whatever, I know that it can never live up to the flawlessness of this nugget of heart-tugging pop gold.
Joe White Noise
Eat Their Own by Caged Animals is out now on Lucky Numbers
Buy Eat Their Own by Caged Animals from Norman Records
Caged Animals Bandcamp
Caged Animals website