This ‘Teenage Time Killers’ article was written by ‘Jack Press’, a GIGsoup contributor
When you’re in some of the greatest-living rock-bands on the planet, with millions upon millions of record sales between you, what else do you kill your time with? For My Ruin’s Mick Murphy and Corrosion of Conformity’s Reed Mullins – it’s a killer kick-ass super-group featuring the likes of Dave Grohl, Corey Taylor, and Randy Blythe. So we’ve nailed the ‘Time Killer’ part, what about the ‘Teenage’ bit? Well, Greatest Hits Vol. 1 – their jaw-dropping-star-studded debut – is a collection of teenage-angst punk-rock songs with some sludgy stoner rock to boot.
If you’re the type of person who likes to destroy everything in your path with a crowbar to the soundtrack of a billion New York hardcore-punk bands, then the bulk of Teenage Time Killer’s debut is as perfectly matched for you as much as camo-shorts, buzz-cuts and beer are. Jam-packed with twenty-four salivating slices of proto-political punk-rock for your heads to bang to and minds to play with.
Opener Exploder is a stereotypical fight-me punk song – as if it’s been taken from those old-school 80’s bands – whilst its successor – the Neil Fallon-featured Crowned by the Light of the Sun – is a Queens Of The Stone Age-fights-Mastodon bar brawl of sludgy stoner-rock tamed with delicious distorted drone.
Whilst the project has legends from as many genres as you could think of, the expectations you’ll have for this album will drop faster than a penny. It’s not that the songs are terrible – far from it, the musical performances on this record are above and beyond what half of the punk contemporaries are putting out these days – but more a case of it feeling more like a jam session in Mike Murphy’s garage than a super-group record.
The Corey Taylor-fronted Egobomb is saved only by the power-play riffs that encapsulate this record, for without them, Taylor’s stolen-from-stone-sour vocals would fall way too flat on a song he doesn’t even seem comfortable singing on. Saying that, it’s a wee bit better than the lets-hurt-their-ears Ode To Sean Hannity – Jelly Biafra’s take on John Cleese’s poem – that’ll leave you balling your eyes out in despair and blocking your ears from hearing anything again.
Those riffs though are quite frankly the saving grace of this album – it’s very own blessing in disguise. The fretwork on this album is by far some of the finest you’ll of heard in quite some time. From the summer’s day jamboree of Son of an Immigrant to the pulverising and punishing attack of Days of Degradation – Greatest Hits Vol. 1 is a beastly machine of riffs that’ll leave you drooling like a kid in a candy-shop.
Lyrically, this record is a meat-and-potatoes raise-your-voice punk record with almost every song aimed at the failures of the government to do anything or the failures of the citizens for not doing anything either. It’s a verbal assault of silly swear words and subtle (yeah, right) shots at anyone who doesn’t agree.
Alkaline Trio and Blink-182 de-facto leader Matt Skiba delivers a performance as perfect as a summers day sunset on Barrio – the sure-fire highlight of the record which is what would of happened if Thin Lizzy had ever hooked up with the Dead Kennedy’s. You can sing to it, mosh to it, head-bang to it, dance to it – it’s THAT sort of record.
In its simplest form, Teenage Time Killers is a way for the teenagers in us all to kill time with a record that is undeniably punk yet ironically grandiose in concept.