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For those still reeling from the stylistic pivot California rockers Teenage Wrist witnessed on their 2021 release Earth Is a Black Hole, the duo’s brand new album Still Love is, pleasingly, an organic continuation and celebration of their incredible transformation into one of alt rock’s modern cult stalwarts.
Straight outta the gates, we are definitely not in Kansas anymore, with the grinding beauty of Sunshine pelting granulated guitars alongside creamy reprieves. Undeniably, members Anthony Salazar and Marshall Gallagher are thriving in their new creative identities, with the album stretching the elasticated confines of their grunge, shoegaze, pop and rock mutation into polished new heights.
Seamlessly shifting between emo-laced wonderlands (Dark Sky), murky, melodic anthems (title track Still Love), smouldering nostalgia (Digital Self) and pop-infused melancholy (Something Good), Teenage Wrist equally enamour in their heavy maximalist moments as they do in the album’s serenity and singalong-inducing outbursts. A far weightier outing than its predecessor at times, Still Love still very much carries the stylistic spark ignited on Earth Is a Black Hole. But alongside swollen textures, cavernous basslines and mellowed silk, Teenage Wrist firmly declare throughout the 12 Still Love tracks that not only have they truly honed in on who they want to be as a band; they are also capable of creating profound art that dexterously explores the gamut of the genre multiverse.
An album clearly crafted with nothing but undiluted passion and remarkable execution, Still Love is one of the most balanced yet unaffected albums to bless our timelines in 2023 … Still Love is the ultimate alt rock melting pot you’ll want to sink your mind, body, and soul into.
Case in point, midway track Diorama strips to a near-acoustic display armed with a cello before the more traditional grunge fare of Cold Case gives way to the riotous Cigarette Two-Step. But just when you think every card has been dealt, Still Love’s closing track goes full lo-fi with Paloma a.k.a Ketamine, opening with some studio chit-chat before luring you beyond your speakers or headphones and directly into the room live with Salazar and Gallagher themselves. An album clearly crafted with nothing but undiluted passion and remarkable execution, Still Love is one of the most balanced yet unaffected albums to bless our timelines in 2023. Whether calling to mind the melodic years of Silverchair alongside a horde of fresh sonic ideas, balanced production, and a smattering of guest features for good measure, Still Love is the ultimate alt rock melting pot you’ll want to sink your mind, body, and soul into.
STANDOUT TRACKS: Sunshine, Still Love, Something Good
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