American Pleasure Club
Fucking Bliss


4.0
excellent

Review

by counterparts24 USER (5 Reviews)
June 18th, 2019 | 17 replies


Release Date: 2019 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Teen Suicide is dead.

Here is what people are saying about ***ing Bliss by American Pleasure Club:

"I think they tried to make a dark album, and I get it, but it's just kinda different"

"Some albums should've stayed unreleased"

"Like, do I have to be on LSD to understand this""

These are just a few of many quotes from YouTube comment sections, emblazoned on a big sticker that has been slapped to the back of the protective sleeve on my vinyl copy of this record. And for those who are a fan of (or even remotely familiar with) this band and what they do, it comes as no surprise that the majority of the reception towards this release is negative. For years now, APC (formerly Teen Suicide) has been churning out their typical approach to LoFi indie and pop music, with occasional shades of punk rock influence. They have amassed quite the following through their sound and the angsty aesthetic they've built. And while many people were consistently enamored by every release the band put out, I was under the impression that APC would just become another prime example of a group that slowly regresses into mediocrity. Each new album featured the same exact sound of their debut full length, but with less catchy hooks, less distinguishable characteristics, and less emotion being poured into the songwriting process with every new release. They sounded like a group of guys that just wanted to feed the eager mouths of their fanbase to stay afloat and relevant, rather than the fun, experimental project that they had once been. But on ***ing Bliss, one thing is apparent, as one may be able to realize from that sticker I was talking about: This isn't Teen Suicide anymore. This is APC. And APC doesn't give a damn about what you think anymore.

Gone are the days of Telecasters, jangly riffs, poorly (albeit intentionally) recorded percussion, and Sam Rey's vocal delivery that ranges from raspy shouts to drugged-out murmurs. Instead, replacing all of these traits, are harsh noise and ambient drones. APC has delved into these territories on previous releases, such as DC Snuff Film and It's The Big Joyous Celebration. Their frontman's solo project, Ricky Eats Acid, meets all the qualifications of a drone act as well. But they had only ever dipped their toes in the water on very few cuts in their discography, splashing a little Tim Hecker here and a little Merzbow there. It was surprising to see these ideas come to fruition on an entire album, and in such a well-crafted and gorgeously gloomy way. This is the only album in APC's catalogue of its kind, yet it feels as though they have been doing this their entire life, crafting magic behind closed doors until they were ready to fully unveil these tastes and talents to their audience.

One could say that ***ing Bliss feels like a compilation of sorts; Perhaps a collection of lost tracks or B-sides. But not in the disjointed, unfinished type of way that you'd expect when you hear those kinds of terms. The production found here is best described as pristine, yet gritty, combining the LoFi bedroom feel APC has perfected over their career with a more professional spin to create a perfect sweet spot that isn't too grimey or too polished. Each track here provides an entirely unique set of sounds, but somehow manages to keep the same melancholic vibe throughout, allowing the record to flow in a consistent and smooth manner. "The Miserable Vision" opens the record with a euphoric wave of pianos and haunting vocal melodies, bleeding together to create an ambient drone, building up to a drop that plummets you into an abyss of malfunctioning machinery and intense bass kicks. The song "Ban This Book" is easily the eeriest track to be found here, the bustling, looping beat building up a sense of anxiety and curiosity before the track bashes you over the head with a sudden wall of screeching noise, causing your heart to nearly leap out of your chest. And "Hello Grace" takes the bedroom pop route, delivering a well-blended serving of soothing violins, trap-influenced drum beats, and down-tuned, distorted male singing that mixes very smoothly with the repeating harmonization of the catchy female vocal samples. This game of aural ping-pong that ***ing Bliss plays with the eardrums of the listener creates an emotional rollercoaster, inducing anxiety one moment before rapidly melting away into relief on the next. And at under 30 minutes in length, this is a perfect album for anyone that wants to get into this style of music. It is not an extremely challenging listen in terms of their respective genres, nor does it overstay its welcome.

***ing Bliss is a very ambitious and risky undertaking, a project that could've flopped very easily had it not been well thought out or executed. But all in all, the album is a much needed breath of fresh air, not just for their oversaturated discography, but for ambient and drone music as a whole. Sam Rey and Co.'s fire seemed to be dying out, but with an entirely new style and a middle finger salute to the peanut gallery, APC reignited their flame, put their passions to the test, and crafted their best album to date.


user ratings (16)
Chart.
3.2
good


Comments:Add a Comment 
brainmelter
June 18th 2019


6502 Comments


whoa didn’t even know there was a new one

Digging: Apocryphal Voice - Pain & Pleasure

counterparts24
June 18th 2019


17 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, very little buzz about this album and not much teasing towards it, but I thought it was an amazing release. Hope they keep going down this experimental path.

Digging: Uboa - The Origin Of My Depression

Cormano
June 18th 2019


1507 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

ah sweet finally someone finally did it

Cormano
June 18th 2019


1507 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

though i do feel like you should leave the comparisons aside, you Make it sound as if sam tried to erase the former band from memory, since this is in fact a shelved teen suicide record previous to the big joyous celebration

counterparts24
June 18th 2019


17 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Damn, I made the comparisons because i thought this was actually an entirely new release, not a shelved one before Joyous. I still feel like they apply in the grander scheme of things though since this is apparently not something APC normally does. But thanks for the info! Was out of the loop on that.

Cormano
June 19th 2019


1507 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5



Yeah I agree, for real this something his band(s) wouldn’t normally go for, but yeah if you follow ray on social media you probably know how outspoken he is so he basically said stuff like this was the definite teen suicide sound he always strived for and the best thing hes put out and apparently he recorded in a week when he thought a lot about killing himself and shit, I never see ts and American pleasure club as two separate bands or ideas though don’t think sam does either, it really just is a name change



Cormano
June 19th 2019


1507 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Also did you listen to the tour tape they put out last year? it went fukin unnoticed and it’s the project I’ve enjoyed the most under this moniker, although I must admit I need to relisten to bliss

Hopelust
June 19th 2019


3450 Comments


SO basically this is the soundtrack to someone's suicidal thoughts?

Kompys2000
June 19th 2019


2887 Comments


Is this better than their last album? cuz that one was pretty bad

pjtx2014
June 19th 2019


16 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Man I really wanna like this band but I just can't get into them, not this record nor the last. Maybe I'll revisit them after some time

Cormano
June 19th 2019


1507 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"SO basically this is the soundtrack to someone's suicidal thoughts?"



well if you’re familiar with ray’s work you’ll know he pretty much built around about this clinically-depressed-lofi-junkie-white-dude narrative and tbqf he is probably the best of the bunch, this album was him basically hitting his deepest low, if you listen to it you’ll probably get an idea what I mean

I know he sobered up, relocated and married kitty pride who is a solid 9/10 and has talked about being in a better place in life



"Is this better than their last album? cuz that one was pretty bad"



It depends, it sounds nothing like anything he’s ever put to tape, this is pretty abrasive and a bit ethereal ambient, that being said I don’t think the last one was bad at all it has a few weak spots but a lot of high points as well, really don’t get why people hate it, doesn’t deserve that average to be fair

You should also check out that tape that I mentioned earlier, that was put out between this and the last record, its more reminiscent to his old sound while also doing some sick experimentation, it even draws a little from black metal I shit you not











YakNips
June 19th 2019


19800 Comments


why is this guy still depressed

Hawks
June 20th 2019


72455 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Gonna jam this today.

Digging: Blood Stain Child - Epsilon

Cormano
June 20th 2019


1507 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"why is this guy still depressed"



he isn't, didn't you read the thread







Cormano
June 20th 2019


1507 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i think you'll dig this hawks

Hopelust
June 20th 2019


3450 Comments


Ethereal ambient hey? Hm, Maybe in certain spots, but the static/feedback really puts a nail in that descriptor. Pretty jarring, and not in a good way.

Hawks
June 20th 2019


72455 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah I’m digging the hell out of this.



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