by Dan Goldin (@post_trash_)
Despite all the hype and buzz of the internet, sometimes (often times), the best bands are the ones that you really have to dig to find, the scrappy word-of-mouth types... bands who build a small but loyal audience, one incredible record after another. Which brings us to SUPERTEEN, one of the East Coast underground's best, hailing from Salem, Massachusetts, a town better known for it's witch trials than it's indie "scene". They've spent the past five years releasing increasingly great albums, perfecting their vision of tattered indie rock with sharp stabs of post-punk, psych, twangy hardcore, and their own unique go at jangly art pop. Over Everything, due out February 23rd via the ever reliable Sad Cactus Records, is a sweeping collision of opposing forces, a menacing blend of explosive dynamics and infectious melodies.
Opening with the blur of "On Dogs," the picture slowly comes into focus, disorienting your senses before exploding into a sugary sweet melody on top of an increasingly shaky ground. It's a blistering intro that has SUPERTEEN proving once again to expect the unexpected. There's a disarming sense of calm on "Leaks," a song that is slow to unravel, but does so with a majestic fury. Stinging guitars and stuttering polyrhythms crash around the doubled vocals of Sam Robinson and Meryl Schultz, their voices working together in ragged harmony and spastic abandon. From there, the carnage ensues, a sound that SUPERTEEN do better than most. There's a sense of unease that runs throughout Over Everything, an unnerving density to their structures, like a tornado running through a small town and everyone just shouting rather than taking cover.
It's not all darkness however, lead single "Sodium Pill," which we called "a clamoring and chaotic song with a surging pop-centric core shinning underneath the mess" and the deranged twang of "No" actually offer some slivers of light. SUPERTEEN dig into warped bummer pop ("Would You Like A Second Fortune?") and caustic art punk madness ("Sweet Tooth Part Two"), eventually giving into their explosive energy with cult-like mantras and brilliantly tense layers of Jackson Martel's sinewy guitars. Songs like "Peace Line" and "DBT (Shocked)" really embrace the mayhem of Robinson and Schultz's opposing voices, each shouting directly over top the other to create a sort of anti-harmony that swirls just above the deranged push and pull of the band's skintight convulsions. Patrick Dunning (bass) and Chris Faria (drums) offer an incredible synchronicity throughout, but "DBT (Shocked)" has them in full onslaught, dipping between shifting prog structures and pummeling post-hardcore blasts. The manic and sweet are constantly in battle throughout Over Everything, like two eighteen-wheeler trucks crashing head on at full speed, and we'd have it no other way. This is one of the year's best records, and we're pleased to present it in full.
SUPERTEEN's Over Everything is out February 23rd via Sad Cactus Records.