Car Seat Headrest - Teens of Denial

by Nathan Fidler Rating:7 Release Date:2016-06-24

Having shown late last year that plugging away in the modern age of music creation and release pays off, Car Seat Headrest, music project of Will Toledo, finally reach that point of putting out the first normal album of all new songs. Crafting everything before for release on Bandcamp, Toledo seems to maintained his form and his style.

Teens of Denial shared a lot in common with Teens of Style, which is probably why the two titles share similar names. Slacker ethos, self-defeating, Toledo whips through more standard rock numbers than on any of his previous releases.

‘Fill In The Blank’ mocks the attitude of many towards depression in it’s chorus, “You have no right to be depressed, you haven’t tried hard enough to like it”, but it doesn’t place all the blame on others. For the kind of themes found across the album it’s incredibly catchy and fun to get wrapped up in.

There are plenty of references to inadequacies and drugs here too, ‘(Joe Gets Kicked Out Of School For Using) Drugs With Friends (But Says This Isn’t A Problem)’ has Toledo admitting “I laid on my friends bedroom floor for an hour and tried not to piss myself”. Complete with some lazy guitar slides and tired woo-hoos, it makes for an accurate sound of the comedown, wanting to avoid conversation.

Crafting songs with such personal detail, but leading a winding story, all while getting you on side, this isn’t much of a step outside of Toledo’s comfort zone. The fact he’s had to work with a producer may well have been the biggest challenge, but it’s yielding rewards. Through repeated listens you can really get into your best slacker shoes and t-shirt and find your singing along.

‘Drunk Drivers/Killer Whales’ is an impassioned plea for drunk drivers to not let the emotion of a break up to overcomes them and result in an accident “It doesn’t have to be like this, killer whales, killer whales”. It’s all oddly specific and zanily thought out, pricking your ears for the finer details.

More crashing, more driving, alt-rock riffs and the splash of synth in the mix, this album announces Car Seat Headrest as a genuine band. Rightly so too, this is a victory for all those people with the talent to write and record songs in the bedroom who are unwilling to shill themselves on television reality just to get their break.

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