Teenage Wrist - Chrome Neon Jesus (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Teenage Wrist

Chrome Neon Jesus (2018)


Epitaph's roster is pretty diverse. Just a reminder for those who are still arguing about how punk it is. Teenage Wrist represents a rarer sound on the record label with a thick, reverb-drenched style that pays homage to '90s grunge/alt. rock. After listening to the Dazed EP a while back, I figured it'd be a matter of time before they broke into something bigger because their style fits bands like Citizen, Turnover and late-era Title Fight. While Chrome Neon Jesus follows their signature sound though, it ends up being way too bland and lacks charisma or personality.

Now, that may sound harsh but it's because I expected way more. There are a few really great songs here but the ones that fail are so bad that I'd love if they got cut so as to have this re-released as an EP. The heavy Will Yip rock and roll feel stands out on songs like "Dweeb" and "Swallow" but you can't help but feel they're trying way to hard to do this dreamy shoegaze style. Producer/engineer Carlos De La Garza (Paramore, Jimmy Eat World) takes a crack here and sadly, he just doesn't unlock the band's inventiveness, even on poppier jams like "Supermachine." 

I mean, I could respect songs like "Waitress" where Teenage Wrist cut loose and go all grunge, but from the cringeworthy lyrics that feel like they're written by a 12 year-old to an overall sound that's trying to ape its contemporaries instead of coming off as a distinct and distinguished signature of musical identity, all I can say is there's a lot of room for improvement from a band that has immense potential.