Car Seat Headrest

Teens Of Denial

Written by: PP on 01/08/2016 23:21:59

With twelve albums underneath his belt and a distinctly 90s flavored, quirky indie rock soundscape, you'd be forgiven to assume Will Toledo and his project Car Seat Headrest is a cult project of sorts that just reunited after a long absence, kinda like Pavement a couple of years back. Not quite. The first eleven albums were released in continuous succession between May 1st, 2010 and August 23rd, 2013, before the DIY workhorse Toledo caught the attention of Matador Records and was reined in for a more normalized release schedule with 2015's "Teens of Style".

Six months later, he drops the bedroom lo-fi pop and adds in a full band on thirteenth album "Teens Of Denial", which combines an eerie sense of 90s nerd rock with lo-fi noise, buzzing guitars drenched in garage rock tones and oddball experiments ranging from guitar twang to sparkly melodies borrowed from original emo. There's a bit of cowbell in there as well for good measure. Consider the weirdo piece "Destroyed By Hippie Powers", for instance, which transforms laid-back nerd rock Weezer style into a cacophonic White Stripes inspired garage experience, only in a screamier and louder version with energy levels comparable to The Hives. Yes, it's every bit as strange in practice as it sounds on paper.

All of this is rooted in lo-fi indie rock, with often awkward and quirky melodies introducing unconventional soundscapes that alternate between irritatingly catchy and purposefully off-tune for maximum quirks. "(Joe Gets Kicked Out Of School For Using) Drugs With Friends (But Says This Isn't A Problem)", for instance, starts as lo-fi bedroom pop with odd vocal melodies but slowly progresses into a louder garage rock material with layers upon layers of guitars crescendoing until a cacophonic repetitions of "Drugs are better, drugs are better with friends, friends are better, friends are better with drugs" in the end. Glorious.

Occasionally Toledo adds a little punk rage with unpredictable shrieks and screams interrupting his Pavement worship, and this is what makes his expression so wonderful. His sense of experimentalism feels fresh and natural; there's a buzzing vibe suggesting it's all coming out naturally and effortlessly from his source of inspiration. It's both experimental and exceptionally weird but at the same time oddly accessible and familiar to anyone who has spent time listening to Pavement records. Yet it's different in ways that only listening to the record will reveal. Toledo might not be in the cult category yet, but if he'll keep releasing records like "Teens Of Denial", he will be there in the future. An excellent and most importantly a unique and original release.


Download: Destroyed By Hippie Powers, Just What I Needed / Not Just What I Needed, Fill In The Blank
For the fans of: Pavement, Wire, Sonic Youth, Certain People I Know
Listen: Facebook

Release date 20.05.2016
Matador Records

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