Review Summary: Dear sister, I write you this letter from a fixed-gear bicycle
I’ve got a lump in my throat. I can’t tell if it’s from nausea due to my ***ty diet or from trying to hold down the feelings of nostalgia when I could maintain a diet. You’re not supposed to get most of your daily calories from beer, but the days I don’t are the ones I go to bed hungry. For the first time in a while, I haven’t really felt the existential dread that plagued me throughout college, but I think it’s mostly because I can’t afford it. It turns out that coming to terms with your helplessness isn’t half as bad as spending countless hours wondering what’s going to happen when you finally have to actually face it. Like those hours spent agonizing over what you’re going to say to that girl with those dimples and then one day your body walks up to her and words spill out and you don’t know what they were but apparently she thought they were endearing and then all of a sudden your faces are smacked up against each other and you can’t tell where the alcohol ends and the endorphins start.
It’s weird how the moments we’re supposed to enjoy and look forward to instantly slip from our minds to make room for that one time you fucked
up a couple years and you still can’t get over it, despite the fact that you’ve made up for it ten times over. In the moment, all I can ever focus on is how absurd it is that I somehow got in this position, and then forever after that I’ll kick myself for not savoring it when it was actually happening. But I suppose that’s how nostalgia’s born.
Somehow Teenage Cool Kids manage to toe the line between harboring nostalgia and skewering the very notion of it at the same time. Sonically, the riffs, lo-fi production, and nasally scoffing vocals are reek of the 90s like Built to Spill b-sides, while Andrew Savage’s lyrics sardonically riff on all the too-hip cats around him grasping for some sense of identity. Pulling apart the fashion in which young, shallow kids rely on their other’s images in order to validate each other and lash out at other’s façade in order to validate themselves.
In this sense, Queer Salutations
plays much like the sister album to Titus Andronicus’s The Airing of Grievances
, released less than a year later. While TAoG internalizes each and every external frustration with surrounding inauthenticity and posturing, QS turns these criticisms outward to just let everybody know it’s cool to just be yourself under the pretense of jamming on some sweet riffs.