Teenage Wrist - Chrome Neon Jesus
Chrome Neon Jesus
fuzz heavy alt rock since the days of Slowdive has always popped up here and there with some real fervent fans. Personally I think it is Gen Xers desperate to go back to the early nineties and the days of grunge compelling this, but who really knows. It takes some pretty big balls to make an album like Neon Chrome Jesus not because it is risky or divisive, but because no one is really listening to this stuff anymore. No where on top 40 will you hear an album like this nor will the circles of critics give this much love. This record and this band exist in this nether-region where this music is still viable and the fans are clamoring for it. Marshall Gallagher's vocals are the first thing that sticks out. because his voice is so...odd. At times He can be whiny, yet still singing with a decently deep voice while at other times He sounds disinterested yet passionate? I know how strange that sounds but it sounds like He is singing He doesn't give a shit about with some real passion. The way He delivers most of the tracks at this like whisper level is fucking maddening. It's sad because there are times where this album cooks and it feels like they are on to something but the lyrics and vocals are so cringe that they suck you right out of it. There is a song called "Swallow" which has some vague sexual allusion aspect to it that falls laughably flat. "Black Flamingo" might as well ahve been written in 2003 because it is the emo-est emo I have heard in awhile and I reviewed The Used last year.
It's a shame that an album name this good is associated with a record this bad because Chrome Neon Jesus could have been some pretty cool shit. Even the short songs feel freakishly long because their song composition is exactly the same throughout the record. There are absolutely no new ideas here and the band being a three piece doesn't give them much room to experiment. You just need something, anything to put this album in 2018 but even the sentiments feel dated as all hell. When you can actually hear the lyrics full voice outside of the fuzz like on "Spit" you realize just how cringe and pusdeo deep they are. Each song feels like the first lyrics they came up with they stuck with not trying to refine or drill down anything. The last track on the record, "Waitress", is also it's longest with the most drawn out nothingness you have ever heard. Instead of a solo they just let the guitars screech and the drums pound away with the same beat for the full five minute run time. There is even a point where the use the exact guitar effect you have heard on every single Weezer song just in case you thought the record wasn't derivative enough. This album was a struggle to get through for a number of reason, but more than anything it simply does nothing to set itself apart from bands that have done this in the past. This album doesn't feel inspired by a genre, it feels like a copy of it, and that's pretty damn bad.
1.4 out of 10