“Teens Of Denial” Car Seat Headrest

Car Seat Headrest

Teens of Denial  Album Review

Matador Records

Genre: Indie Rock, Lo-Fi Rock

Released May 20, 2016

Reflecting on the past year in college is the only time where reflection has made me worry more. It’s the last four years that separate me from REAL LIFE. The past 20 years have been relatively structured and the thought of being really on my own is a little unsettling. Thankfully, we have artists like Will Toledo and his band Car Seat Headrest to help synthesize these realities. Teens Of Denial is just the right combination of real angst and real musicianship, and although the album may be one song too long, CSH deliver a solid indie rock album for this generation of scared college students.

Will’s lyrics read like a conversation with a close friend from high school. The moods range from outrageously humorous to very depressing. One song, (“The Ballad of the Costa Concordia”) ends with him admitting defeat to everything, while “1937 State Park,” is bisected by the hilarious lines “High school teen dream dies in the hospital/Leaves behind a journal and a pair of Air Jordans.” Obviously, there is a lot of well-written material stringing these emotions and anecdotes together. The fact that there IS so much is the one major flaw in Teens of Denial.

The lengthy songs (5 songs clock in between 6 and 11 minutes) are all necessary and well-composed, but one or two of the 5 minutes songs could have been omitted or shortened to convey the same ideas. Will creativly plays on The Cars’ smash hit, “Just What I Needed” in his song, “Not What I Needed,” by playing with the same tempo and a similar chord progression but deliver a message that totally contrasts from the message and mood from the original song. The musicianship is solid 90s indie-rock worship, occasionally throwing in fancy instruments over this relatively lo-fi production. “Fill In The Blank” has tasty horns that flavor the song nicely.

Teens Of Denial has many good songs and no bad songs, although there aren’t any songs that completely change the indie rock game. It’s a fun and very real listen regardless.


FAV TRACKS: Fill In the Blank, The Ballad of the Costa Concordia

LEAST FAV TRACK: Connect The Dots

SCORE: (7.7/10)

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