Written by Lucas P. Jones
The Teenage Time Killers just dropped their first record. Big deal, right? Just another band with a cool name. Except this band is no ordinary band. It is comprised of some of the biggest names in punk, rock, and metal. Those titans came together and created a 20 song epic album, filled with songs that covers an entire span of the above genres, from old school four chord garage punk, to progressive modern metal. The group was formed in February of 2014 by guitarist Mick Murphy (My Ruin) and drummer Reed Mullin (Corrosion of Conformity). Other notable members include Dave Grohl (using both his legs), Corey Taylor (Slipknot, Stone Sour), Randy Blythe (Lamb of God), Nick Oliveri (QotSA) and many others too numerous to name here, but you can check the Wiki page for the full listing.
So lets dive into this massive, 20 song epic together. “Exploder,” “Crowned by the Light of the Sun,” and “Hung out to Dry” might be the coolest 1-2-3 off of any album in the last few years. “Exploder” starts the album with a frantic punk rock pace, followed by the heavy sludge and melody by “Light of the Sun.” Then “Hung out to Dry” comes on and makes you want to find the nearest mosh pit and jump right in. I’d say these three tracks represent the album as a whole; there is something for everyone, but at the same time, the songs all sound like they belong together.
“Barrio” Is a strong contender for my favorite track on this album. Relying on that old school punk vibe, the simple chord progression and gang vocals really hit home for me, as do the funky drums and kicking guitar solo in “Egobomb”. Plus that song is just…fucking HEAVY. Good grief. You know a song is good when you instinctively turn your volume up as loud as it can go.
The back half of the album features less standalone tracks, and the remaining songs sound like a fusion of all the genres present on this album. The resulting sound is a heavy thrashing punk mixture that is refreshing to say the least. This sort of unapologetic, unpretentious rock is something that is notoriously absent in modern music. Sure, there are a lot of bands not making pop or mainstream music, but very few of them do it as consistently well as Teenage Time Killers. Every single song is great, which is impressive for a regular length album, let alone a double. “Big Money”, “Devil in this House”, and “Your Empty Soul”, are all tracks that showcase this level of skill and genre bending ability.
At the end of the day, this is what we expect from supergroups. Talented musicians coming together to make kick-ass music. On top of that, it’s musicians from genres of music that don’t get nearly enough exposure outside of their own fanbase. Will this album give more legitimacy to musicianship in non-popular genres? Maybe. What I can say, is that in a world besieged with generic, auto-tuned pop music, Teenage Time Killers are the light in the black. Come towards the light brothers and sisters, the music up here rocks.