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The second release from suburbia's teen-spirited reject aims to tackle our fantasies and hometown heroes before they hit the 20-yard-line. Like his debut, Merridew manages to fuel much of "Teenage Idol" with a similar darkness that is only amplified with bitter endings and tear-jerking plot lines. Leading story, "The Deep End," paints themes of fame-lust and indulgence, while stories like "On City Limits" and "Lax Hoes, Sports Bros" offer a triumphant glimmer of hope in a whirlwind of big dreams and unrealistic expectations. Bruce Farrel returns in "Solo Cups & Bruises" and "Trophy Boy" to finish what he started in his three-part story weaved between personal narratives that seem straight from a diary. "Bleach, Blood & Cum" holds nothing back with a sexually-driven storyline about a boy who wants the fame that "you need an ID to see." But despite what is resting on the surface, "Teenage Idol" isn't about striving for egotistical fame or plastic perfection. It's about our generation's insecurities. It's about ripping apart poster boys and hanging a mirror above the bed frame instead. It's about dancing solo and partying hard, even when your invitation gets lost in the mail. It's about dreaming big in a dead town and rising above the low-blows from anyone who has ever told you that you can't win.
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