[Album Review] Teenage Wedding- The Great Sadness
Reader Rating: (4 Votes)

Release Date: February 5th, 2017
Label: Independent

At first blush Teenage Wedding may not sound groundbreaking or innovative. Intriguing, yes, but very familiar. However, once you immerse yourself you realize just how very different these guys are by taking the very familiar and rearranging it in new ways.

The album kicks off with “City Lights”, which with its dark americana refrain “…I hate the city lights…” could be a stadium lighter burner (or cell phones now, I guess) except the lackadaisical guitar isn’t ambitious enough and neither singer (Nick Joy or Cosima Friesen) take the matter seriously. Their wonkiness comes more to the forefront on the next track “Sun Rising”, in which Joy’s voice breaks down completely as the music wanders in and out of reality, at times tunelessly.

Things momentarily get more indie and normal with the bouncy beginning to “Flesh Prism”. Joy goes through a kind of stream of consciousness as the words spew from his mouth. Meantime, the song slowly evolves into a Neutral Milk Hotel-style flowing thing, complete with Joy and Friesen exchanging goofy “yeahs”.  Arguably the album high point.

The closing three tracks are no slouches, however. “Shallow End” is another (dark) alternate americana, whereas “Outta Sight” and “So Long” are exercises in neo-yacht smooth rock, although Joy seems determined to undermine any sentimentality with strange vocals.

Teenage Wedding are an extremely adept band, so their professionalism and execution aren’t in question. What sets them apart is their attitude. They have a love of beauty and form but they have an even greater penchant for messing with perfection to make their own unique statement.