Jacksonville Florida’s Teen Divorce Release First EP

Teen Divorce – Almost Heaven EP Review

Jacksonville Florida emo/punk pop trio Teen Divorce dropped their self produced debut EP Almost Heaven, late this winter, in the midst of 2017 tour leg. The record has a unique and nostalgic feel despite a fairly modern indie sound. It’s heartfelt and almost accidentally catchy. Their music is obviously genuine and I see a lot of potential in their work as they move forward through upcoming tour dates and a future full length record.




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Track one on Almost Heaven, “Caitlin,” establishes the mood of the group immediately, a more upbeat – Depeche Mode-esque sadboy vibe with relatable self-loathing lyrics. They tend not to depend on any gimmicks, like whiny vocals, full band chanting or screamo breakdowns on this track, and throughout the EP. Instead of a breakdown we get a catchy hook. Accompanied by the easy to sing along with chorus, it is the kind of track that is always fun live.

I had the opportunity to check out their album release show and was pleasantly surprised by their energy and connection with the entire crowd of half shuffling shoegazers to the tipsy dancing twenty somethings. It takes a lot to succeed as a solid 3 piece so the consistency between their onstage delivery and album sound is notable.

“Useless” is the second track on the record. The entire EP was self-produced and this song is one that would thrive in a big studio with full scale production. Its danceable and sticks in your head, with a pensive little hook and playful guitar riffs throughout. While their front man keeps things poppy with these riffs, the drummer and bassist drive the track along in a more glass half-empty place. Overall it’s a sweet, head-bobbing track that never comes off saccharine.

The third song, “Care” is my personal favorite. It continues the first wave emo throwback sound but with a predominant punk element. That old-school punk meets 90s attitude has been lacking from many new hits. As Teen Divorces’ lead singer croons “I don’t care now, why should I care now,” I am reminded of chanting the lyrics to Nirvana’s “Breed” along with my Walkman and relating for the first time to when Suicidal Tendencies shouted “I just wanted a Pepsi!” The “Welcome to Paradise” style bass hook later on is a cool contrast to the other vocal hooks on the album and finally gives the bassist a chance to show his chops, after the album begins laced with poppy guitar riffs and solid indie punk drums.

The title track “Almost Heaven” ends the album bringing the different emotive pop elements of the group’s sound together with fast-paced grunge happy verses and a lighters in the air hook. There is a heartfelt honesty to this hook that makes it easy to sing along, enjoying the kind of masochistic self-pity we tend to bask in when we see our favorite emo bands live.

This album did leave me wanting more as far as production budget and a longer form album as an exploration of their genre blending sound, but  I actually an looking forward to hearing more and seeing what happens with group over the next year. As a self produced album, I’m impressed with the quality. I highly anticipate a small or possibly even major label full-length record in their future, but for now they have upcoming tour dates you can keep up with on facebook.com/teendivorce and the entire Almost Heaven EP is available as a pay what you wish download at Bandcamp .

Download it today and stay tuned to what this up and coming band has in store.

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Rock On!
Liz Pena





 

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