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ATP! Album Review: Teen Suicide - Goblin Problems EP

In an era where the lifespan of a band sometimes doesn't stretch beyond a handful of EP's or an understated full-length, it's become almost a rule of thumb that all the best ones will break up before you've had a chance to get properly into them - or worse yet, before they've even reached their full potential. Such is the case with Teen Suicide, who released their first EP (since investing in microphones) Goblin Problems last summer followed by one or two more releases before recently calling it quits.

Teen Suicide sound like what would have happened if Casiotone for the Painfully alone had ever decided to do a bunch of Bad Brains covers, and Goblin Problems is a six-minute love letter to every kid who has ever picked up a shitty guitar, drowned it in distortion and recorded it onto garageband or an eight-track or a Talkboy or whatever was available.
From artwork that could have easily been cut from one of the Lisbon sisters' diaries to gritty recordings done in bedrooms, the woods or pretty much anywhere dark, the Maryland foursome were a DIY dream. Sure, there are tons of bands out there doing exactly what they do, but there was something endearing about them that left a permanent stain, like a water ring on a wooden table.

Goblin Problems is three tracks of totally different but equally irresistible jams. Opener 'goblins cry too' is a chunk of upbeat Real Estate-come-Beach Boys surf-rock overlaid with quintessentially Californian "ooh's." Followed by a standard 4/4 punk beat which drives horribly distorted vocals and guitars, 'hayden's getting a ddr pad' plucks you off Long Beach and throws you straight into a Japanese games arcade where everyone is going mental on Dance Dance Revolution. And to switch things up again - because consistency is boring - the wobbly tape-recorded closer 'i wanna be a witch' takes a much more laid back, acoustic approach and could be mistaken for a lost Youth Lagoon demo.

Now that you've gotten super stoked on all this rad music you'll probably never hear live, you'll be pleased to know that although Teen Suicide are dead, the end is far from nigh. The creative collective obviously have a lot more to give and will keep churning out material in one form or another not because they necessarily want it to be seen or recognised, but because it's what they do. Creativity doesn't always have to be carefully considered or painfully wrung out, sometimes it comes as naturally as shrugging, and that's exactly what makes goni - and all their releases - feel so weightless and enjoyable.

Vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Sam Ray has a new project called Julia Brown, who we'll be hearing from extremely soon.

4.5/5

Emma Garland

Goblin Problems is now available via Bandcamp.