Teenage Rehab - Goodbye Sanity (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Teenage Rehab

Goodbye Sanity (2008)


A major criticism that often gets levelled at all things punk is that it contains a lack of diversity. However, what some critics fail to realize is this apparent deficiency is something that tends to plague dull releases from all manner of music, whether it be post-rock or country. It becomes hard to shake the feeling that some rock bands try to overcompensate for such criticisms by employing extra elements -- such as flutes or children's choirs -- that don't in fact do much rocking at all. When it comes right down to it, it isn't about the amount of players or types of instrumentation that give a record a degree of depth but the compositions themselves. Teenage Rehab's first release for Jailhouse! Records, Goodbye Sanity, succeeds at compiling a reasonably varied and cohesive album that doesn't sacrifice any of the brevity or immediacy of punk rock tradition.

The EP starts off with rather mixed results as the prominent bassline that propels "Suicide" along is interrupted by the inclusion of ridiculous "spoken word" dialogue. Considering the rather short length of the song, the spoken word part serves to almost eclipse the musical portion, that for the roughly half-minute it exists as a catchy hook-filled piece of winding early west coast skatepunk. There isn't much change in terms of songwriting between that first song and "I Don't Give a Shit" but the band does throw in some "whoa oh" on the chorus that reflects a more modern skatepunk influence as well but doesn't allow them dominate the album completely. "White Ghetto" utilizes a mid-paced chug to offer up a tune reminiscent of Social Distortion's beginnings and frontman Danny Rehab inflects a more melodic inflection to his usually throaty shout. There is some quality, well-placed guitar solos peppered throughout the album; for example, when combined with the more prominent lead in the album's closer "Loaded Gun," it presents a musically aesthetic enjoyment beyond how memorable the individual tracks are.

As the band's name would suggest, the themes that permeate this release are all of a snotty adolescent nature but it never comes off as overtly cheesy because the is a relative sense of humour about the whole thing (see the questionable spoken word part in "Suicide"). While it is probably healthier to "keep it posi," sometimes it just feels good to sit back an explore negativity like they do on songs like "I Don't Give a Shit" and "Dead on the Couch."

It is somewhat questionable on whether the attitudes and stylistic choices presented here could maintain the attention spans of our ADHD addled world over the course of a long-player, but for what it is Goodbye Sanity demonstrates the sort of album that you can just sit back and enjoy all the way through.