“Boxroom Bangers”, from Teenage Tom Petties’ self-titled debut album, is a fun garage rock track that will leave any aged listener with the wistful feeling of nostalgia. The band consists of frontman (and only man) Tom Brown of the UK indie-rock duo Rural France, known for their warped and fuzzy sound. The name Teenage Tom Petties was actually derived from one of Rural France’s songs off their 2021 album RF. Wanting to share his solo music, Teenage Tom Petties was recorded by Brown in his home (in the boxroom presumably?) and “Boxroom Bangers” is the perfect single to showcase that hometown feel.
This track takes listeners on a two minute road trip through the years of Brown’s life, but not without a few pit stops along the way. Distorted, guttural guitar confidently rides shotgun with Brown’s voice behind the wheel. The guitar’s melody seems to race right towards you, with the lyrics of memory lane quick to follow in a high speed chase. The instrumentals take you on a fast ride through life’s changes, while the sentimental lyrics leave you with the solace of nostalgia.
It’s the boxroom blues on the radio
It’s the song you love ‘bout the people you know
The catchy intro brings you in right away with its sense of comfort and familiarity. The instrumentals are made up of the perfect mixture of that gritty 90’s punk sound and modern guitar pop. The jangle pop sound is strong, but that punk grit still comes through. Brown’s voice adds to that familiar tone though, sounding staticky, almost as if through an old stereo. The melody’s distortion gives it a DIY, made-at-home feel that is so difficult to replicate in a studio.
“Boxroom Bangers” doesn’t fall short of references to Brown’s formative years. Looking back on his favorite locations and specific memories, listeners begin to relive their own past through his recollection. Those passing feelings of remembrance are priceless and hard to capture. You can’t put nostalgia into words. Yet, this song brings those emotions out, like that feeling of driving by your childhood best friend’s house listening to your favorite songs from high school.
It’s the tennis court
It’s a hole in the fence
For Brown it’s a tennis court, but for you it might be something else. That restaurant down the street where you got your first job, or maybe even that run-down park that was once your secret kingdom. “Boxroom Bangers” is like flipping through an old photo album; with the turn of each page, you remember more and more, slowly unraveling the past.
“Boxroom Bangers” is short and sweet, but not short of greatness. The familiar yet fun track doesn’t try too hard to be a certain way while still evoking those positive, reminiscent feelings. This song is so special because nostalgia is nearly impossible to capture. So, the ability to create a song that emits those same feelings is impressive. There’s no time machine to blast us back to the past to relive our favorite memories (yet!), so instead there’s “Boxroom Bangers”.