American Pleasure Club
It's the Big Joyous Celebration..


4.5
superb

Review

by MonotoneMop USER (9 Reviews)
April 4th, 2016 | 61 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: If all we get is all we get then that’s all we get, goddamn I guess that’s it

One can’t help a sense of detachment when considering the subtle vein of hope running through the latest Teen Suicide record in the context of their discography. The Maryland lo-fi group has always erred on the somber and even macabre side of things, so to hear vocalist Sam Ray bid wishing luck to those facing the ghosts of his own past such as in closer “If I Don’t See You Before You Leave”, the effect is jarring, albeit immensely tender. This final track centers around an anecdote involving Ray’s friend, who faced addiction and sought forgiveness from those he harmed. This general shift to a third person perspective within the lyricism can be seen in other songs such as “Neighborhood Drug Dealer”.

While the lyrical content seems to bounce back and forth between drug addiction and the afterlife, the sense of narrative is strong, and the closing section of the record lays out these themes the most plainly. Penultimate track “Stomach of the Earth” culminates its house-inspired jaunt with a heavily vocoded passage dripping with sarcastic mundanity. “I watched the beauty of the world condensed tipping too much on a twenty dollar check” Ray concedes in a manner so resigned that it sets a balance between the morbidity and tongue-in-cheek nature of its content.

Now there is a bit of an elephant in the room to address here; this album is long. While just over an hour in length, there are 26 songs written for the album. It can be worrying when an artist is willing to release this much material at once, but Teen Suicide deftly sidesteps this concern with variety and substance. Each track feels fleshed out and containing a distinctive trait, such as the autotuned vocals in “Wild Thing Runs Free” or the almost Pink Floyd-esque instrumentation in the bridge of opener “Living Proof”. Excluding the difficult-to-decipher “Beauty”, nothing here feels like gimmick or filler.

Perhaps it’s these diverse quirks across the record that give it such a welcoming and instantaneous appeal. Lo-fi bedroom pop is often chastised for being willfully inaccessible by nature, but you would be hard-pressed to find someone who isn’t drawn in by the catchier cuts from The Big Joyous Celebration, such as the sugary “I Don’t Think It’s Too Late” or the raucous lead single, “Alex”. In short, there’s a bit of something for everyone here, with even production values ranging from track to track. Comparing “Alex” to “The Things I Love Are Killing Me” is like a summer blockbuster contrasted with an indie film; the former has a large degree more clarity.

In the context of Teen Suicide’s past work, this new record stands out like a sore thumb. The variety of instrumentation and mood is starkly unique, but can be easily reconciled when considering Ray’s work with his other project, Julia Brown. Indeed, a lot of the material here more resembles Julia Brown than Teen Suicide, making it almost seem like a compendium than a record by one of these bands. If not his opus, this definitely feels more like a ‘Sam Ray & Co.’ record than Julia Brown or Teen Suicide. This isn’t to diminish the efforts of the rest of the group, but the thread of similarities can be plainly and easily traced between projects. Considering this and perhaps the grandiose nature of the record, The Big Joyous Celebration feels like a very comprehensive and poignant statement. The content tends to toe the line between redemption and failure, but always with a glimmer of silver lining. It’s a bit of a cliché to call a work ‘life-affirming’, but such statements tend to come with the territory in albums that deal so explicitly with depression and the afterlife. After all, what’s the point of an afterlife if we can’t analyze this one?

Recommended Tracks:
“If I Don’t See You Before You Leave”
“Living Proof”
“Alex”
“Neighborhood Drug Dealer”
“Falling Out Of Love With Me”
“It’s Just a Pop Song”



Recent reviews by this author
Owen The King of WhysGraham Coxon The Sky Is Too High
Mew +-Blur The Magic Whip
Olde Pine The JawnsZookeeper Zookeeper
user ratings (93)
3.5
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
MonotoneMop
April 4th 2016


573 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Kinda cranked this one out. Really wanted to open up some discussion of this giant album. Talk about stuff.

Thuglifethor
April 4th 2016


150 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I really dig it, some of the more pop-oriented tracks can feel a little eh but overall it's a great parting project. It's been really interesting to see Sam's songwriting evolve over the years, but it's definitely just going to get better and better from here. Not quite as memorable or complete as "i will be my own hell" imo, but you just have to remember that this isn't filled with the same nihilism that filled a lot of the other teen suicide material

AwesomeFunGhostAmigo
April 4th 2016


123 Comments


could do without the third paragraph, while an hour is longer than most albums you dont need a paragraph saying "trust me theres no filler trust me" it comes across as unwarranted and suspicious.

all the length deserves is a simple "hour length album" and its over with. if its not a double album its honestly probably not a big deal

hal1ax
April 4th 2016


15083 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

hi rabbit pal

Deathconscious
April 4th 2016


25800 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

this is sounding pretty meh.

MonotoneMop
April 4th 2016


573 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I feel like people quote the actual runtime a lot as to say that it's not that long of an album. I mean, an hour is only slightly longer than average, but each song was written separately and often don't follow a looping structure, so the instrumentation is just as dense as a double to triple album would be. You could say that the lyricism gets a bit of a break and it might fatigue the listener less, but the amount of tracks in the tracklisting is a big factor to consider in addition to the actual runtime.

Deathconscious
April 4th 2016


25800 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

"each song was written separately and often don't follow a looping structure, so the instrumentation is just as dense as a double to triple album would be."



just because it contains as many ideas as a double album might have doesnt mean its going to feel longer, that argument doesnt really make sense.

MonotoneMop
April 4th 2016


573 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

It takes longer to conceive, write, and record on the part of the artist. It's more likely to have filler if there are more ideas shoehorned into the album. That's what I was getting at. I get why using 'long' as the adjective is a bit confusing, though. I should have said 'dense tracklist' or something.

Deathconscious
April 4th 2016


25800 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

yeah but you were talking about time using words like "runtime" and "hour", so youre kind of contradicting yourself, but...



"It's more likely to have filler if there are more ideas shoehorned into the album."



yes, this is true.

MattTD
April 4th 2016


678 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

69 minute runtime l o l



Record makes me wanna smoke weed and be sad

TheBarber
April 4th 2016


3957 Comments


Is this the new sput sadboy homethread?

notkanyewest
April 4th 2016


57 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

"sarcastic mundanity" is a perfect encapsulation why I think the lyrics on this album suck

Conmaniac
April 4th 2016


26140 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

first song is great but the second track made me stop listening to the album. revisiting this but I doubt its better than their other stuff

Deathconscious
April 4th 2016


25800 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

@barber yeah, check out my suicide trials list for the sadmen homethread.

GmemberKills
April 4th 2016


3731 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

some of this is just as good as their other stuff but there is definitely some filler.

Conmaniac
April 4th 2016


26140 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

yeah its like one great track one filler...seems like that's the pattern

Trebor.
Staff Reviewer
April 4th 2016


57534 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

fuck you beat me to it

Digging: Bladee x ECCO2K - Remote Utopias

Trebor.
Staff Reviewer
April 4th 2016


57534 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

depressioooonnnnnn iiiissssss aaaaa constructtttt

GmemberKills
April 4th 2016


3731 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It's not quite that bad for me. Album is really too long though, and some of the tracks don't even sound like teen suicide. Like Obvious Love is just bad.... Sam Ray shouldn't ever use auto-tune again and Stomach of the Earth sounds just like a Ricky Eat Acid song.

Conmaniac
April 4th 2016


26140 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

who beat who to what?

and yeah like what are those lyrics...lol. kinda pissed me off tbh. but as im listening to this album theres some cool tracks



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2019 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy