Teenage Retirement

Written by: PP on 10/12/2014 20:29:06

One of the most talked about bands in pop punk right now as far as the critics are concerned is Chumped. The softly spoken, female-fronted band offer a different take on pop punk through garage style guitars, intimate and quirky vocals (though not as awkward as, say, Lemuria), and a spirited, youthful expression that compares to the likes of Iron Chic, RVIVR and Caves. Themselves, the band categorize it as 'bummer punk' on their Facebook page, which isn't a far off description considering their halfway melancholic and sappy soundscape contains a similar mood to The Wonder Years on "Suburbia...". That is to say, Chumped are writing pop punk far smarter than the majority of their sugar-coated and polished counterparts, which incidentally also means that it sounds much better, and most importantly, different enough to matter.

Debut album "Teenage Retirement" has been long-awaited and highly anticipated to say the least thanks to a series of vibrant EPs and singles drawing the attention anyone following the scene closely. Does it deliver on those expectations? Absolutely. Though opening one-two punch "December Is The Longest Month" / "Hot 97 Summer Jam" is an odd choice to introduce the album given their down-tempo rhythm and flat minor tone, the band quickly demonstrate what the hype is all about on "Coffee", which not only introduces the bands secondary (male) singer on rowdy lead vocals but prominently displays the raw, buzzing energy that the majority of Chumped songs are infatuated by. Their expression is jam-packed with spirit, resulting in a vibrant and lively atmosphere that's best highlighted on "Novella Ella Ella Eh", which races into your consciousness with its innocent but charming sound, much like "Name That Thing" a little bit later. But it's not just about sounding naive and youthful, you also have to sound catchy. And much like Caves and RVIVR, the band's talent for writing catchy hooks both vocal and guitar is almost unmatched in the scene(even the hipsters at Pitchfork love it!).

The perceived fragile nature of the female vocals is another remark that makes "Teenage Retirement" so well executed overall. The songs will range from soothing to explosive, as if they were following singer Anika's mood outbursts both inter-song and from track to track. The dynamic between the quieter and slower passages and the lightning speed sections with infectious choruses is thrilling throughout the record. No wonder people are calling "Teenage Retirement" a candidate for the pop punk album of the year - I for one have difficulty in identifying who else has delivered an expression this buzzing with spirit and warmth this year outside of the Joyce Manor release earlier this year. A must have record if you're into pop punk in any capacity.

Download: Novella Ella Ella Eh, Name That Thing, Coffee, Hot 97 Summer Jam
For the fans of: Caves, RVIVR, Iron Chic, Saves The Day, Joyce Manor
Listen: Facebook

Release date 18.11.2014
Anchorless Records

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