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November 2021

Teenage Wrist's debut is a tour de force of shoegaze-addled grunge soaked in emo-pop

★★★★★
Teenage Wrist's debut is a tour de force of shoegaze-addled grunge soaked in emo-pop
Published: 11:45 am, March 12, 2018

Teenage Wrist have a masterful command of distortion, fuzz, and crossover bravado.

Label: Epitaph
Released: 9th March 2018
Rating: ★★★★★

Imagine a world where the warped mind of Layne Staley still walked the earth and fell in love with the sounds of My Bloody Valentine, all the while giving birth to a baby raised on a diet of 90s-era Feeder, Seattle grunge, and British shoegaze. Well, imagine no longer for a sun-kissed Los Angeles trio by the name of Teenage Wrist have channelled the ghosts of yesteryear in the shape of their otherworldly debut 'Chrome Neon Jesus'.

Helmed by Carlos de la Garza (Paramore, Jimmy Eat World, Wolf Alice), ‘Chrome Neon Jesus’ is a tour de force of shoegaze-addled grunge soaked in emo-pop and sung as if Feeder’s Grant Nicholas was living in a shade or two darker at the time he wrote 1997’s ‘High.’ Teenage Wrist ride a wave of influences that radiate rainbows as much as they illuminate the darkness. At points, dizzying distorted riffs crash over commercially accessible choruses (‘Black Flamingo’) meanwhile elsewhere flanged guitars to and fro with haunting harmonies that hit as thick as the riffs that back them (‘Dweeb’).

Much like the sonic territory, they’re retracing, ‘Chrome Neon Jesus’ is Teenage Wrist’s lyrical expose on the shimmering sides of existence. Navigating the emotional crossroad between the beauty of life and the terror of reality, Teenage Wrist paste nakedly vulnerable poetry against a backdrop of shoegazed grunge that leaves their words ringing in your ears like reverb from a speaker post-concert: “Too dumb, too small, to feel the fall, do you recall when she was something beautiful? I don't, not at all.”

Unlike a number of bands, Teenage Wrist don’t forage so far into the past they can’t keep up in the present. ‘Chrome Neon Jesus’ is a collection of songs a band on album number five would hope to be releasing, let alone a band still on their debut, and yet their adoration for the 90s darker sonic territories and masterful command of distortion, fuzz, and crossover bravado has left them riding off into the distance with a sound so powerful and a message so clear we may be seeing a post-grunge revival. Jack Press

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