Out Now: Teenage Wrist Embraces a New Era, Exploring the Beauty of Melancholy with New Album ‘Earth is a Black Hole’


Adrian GarroCategories:Latest News

Rock Cellar Magazine

Los Angeles-based band Teenage Wrist arrived in 2018 with Chrome Neon Jesus, a neo/grunge-by-way-of-shoegaze debut album released on Epitaph Records that made waves in the “scene,” the band’s ability to blend styles creating a rather intriguing style all its own.

The band’s new album, Earth is a Black Hole, was released on Feb. 12 via Epitaph, and it’s a progression from the sound of Chrome Neon Jesus … just not in a way you might expect.

 

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For starters, Teenage Wrist went through a significant personnel change between albums. Original vocalist Kamtin Mohager left the group in 2019, with guitarist Marshall Gallagher stepping up to assume “guitarist/vocalist” role for the new material.

teenage wrist earth is a black hole album

The result is a bit of a stylistic shift, Teenage Wrist allowing a bit more of a pop/rock-oriented vibe creep into the songs a bit more than it had previously. This is perhaps most succinctly carried out with “Yellowbelly,” which occupies a space cohabitated by 1997-era Third Eye Blind.

Musically cheerful, “Yellowbelly” features a burning darkness at its core, a dichotomy that is at work throughout Earth is a Black Hole:

Cemetery guard
Doesn’t see it but he’s already dead
Dancing around the corpse’s ashes
Trying to keep the time from passing
Nothing that he can do about it now

“Silverspoon” is a highlight thanks to shimmery guitars and Gallagher’s echoing vocals, not to mention a memorable hook:

The album is over in a breezy, upbeat 32 minutes that belie the anxieties expressed on nearly every song, smiles in the form of squealing guitar riffs and cheerful melodies exorcising something deeper, emotions simmering underneath.

Click here to pick up Earth is a Black Hole on CD from our Rock Cellar Store
Click here to pick up Earth is a Black Hole on LP from our Rock Cellar Store

It’s all presented the form of some undeniable earworms, too. Good luck getting the chorus of the title track (a bit of a Jimmy Eat World homage, maybe?) out of your head:

But I’m getting sick on the inside
We are made to feel ashamed
Not every chemical is mixed right 
It’s just a sign of the times
Where do we go when the river runs dry?
It never entered your mind
Where do we go when the river runs dry?

Earth is a Black Hole will surely earn Teenage Wrist a bigger audience; it’s not hard to imagine some of these songs attaining attention on a few different SiriusXM channels, for example.

It’s a concise and engaging creative statement from a band fully feeling comfortable in a new era with a slightly tweaked approach … and memorable results.



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