EP Review: American Television – Adolescence

American Television are an American punk band from Washington D.C., an area well known for being the birthplace of hardcore punk. American Television’s music is more along the melodic hardcore lines, but their influences are rather obvious, especially considering the songs on their latest EP, Adolescence.

By Jane Howkins

Adolescence is an EP consisting of five cover songs from a variety of punk bands, showing the breadth of American Television’s punk influences. The production quality is rather raw and this works better for some songs than others – opener Nervous Breakdown (originally by Black Flag) sounds immense and they’ve really hit the nail on the head here.

The next track up is Officer by Operation Ivy, a track about the American policing system and the corruption involved within such an institution. American Television were influenced to cover Officer due to the murder of George Floyd last year, showing that sadly the track is just as relevant as ever. The third song here is a cover of Bad Religion’s American Jesus – the music itself sounds pretty good, with a wall of riffs building up to create a feeling of tension and atmosphere. However, I felt a little let down by the production quality and the vocals here, especially considering how fantastic a singer Greg Graffin of Bad Religion is.

The penultimate song is Merchandise by Fugazi, a hardcore punk band also hailing from Washington D.C. I wasn’t actually familiar with the track before hearing this version of it so don’t feel like I can pass much comment, but it sounds great and American Television definitely seem to shine on the more hardcore sounding punk songs.

Last up is a medley of two Green Day songs, Brain Stew and Jaded. The vocal quality on Brain Stew is a little disappointing but the music sounds good, however the band sound absolutely ferocious on Jaded. The production quality needs to be improved a little across the board but overall, the tracks on Adolescence sound great and it’s interesting to hear American Television harking back to their teenage influences. I can’t wait to hear what their own music sounds like next time around!