Teen Mortgage are a punk duo formed in Washington D.C. in 2017 – they’re about to release a new EP titled Smoked and we were lucky enough to get a copy in advance for review. See what I thought of Smoked below!
By Jane Howkins
It’s quite a brutal punk record, with hardcore riffs and frantic rhythms being the name of the day here. The vocals aren’t quite screamed but do have a harsh quality to them, so those into the more poppy styles of punk may not enjoy this as much as those who prefer their more hardcore music.
Shangi-La is the opener and sets the tone for the whole EP. It’s a fast track and has a very harsh feel to it, although the guitar riffs do still have a sense of melody to them. The vocals sound fantastic and there’s something really enjoyable about the heaviness of the track – it’s well produced and has a really satisfying sound to it.
Title track Smoked is up next – whilst it’s still quite a heavy song, it has a slightly more melodic feel to it, especially on the chorus. The chorus has a singalong quality to it and the guitar melodies are fantastic – my only issue here was the vocals sound a little quiet in the mix. The breakdown before the last chorus was fantastic, breaking the track up in style.
Ghost Girl is the third song on the EP, having a slightly slower tempo (although the guitar riffs have a more blistering feel to them here somehow). It’s a little more discordant than the other songs and was my least favourite track on Smoked, although those into their heavier music should love this still.
Can I Live is the penultimate song on the EP, bringing the tempo back up a little. The change in dynamics here is fantastic and once again the riffs are great – it’s simply amazing that two people can make such noise! The breakdown from the heavier bit to the more melodic bridge was also fascinating, showing another side to the band.
Valley is the final song on Smoked, starting off very differently from the other songs here. It starts with a mellow, spidery guitar riff before upping the ante slightly – it’s still one of the slower, softer songs on the EP though. Valley has more of a general rock/grunge feel to it, showing that Teen Mortgage are much more versatile than some might think. It will be interesting to hear where the band go next time around and if they can expand on this style of music more. I really enjoyed Smoked and hopefully our readers will do too – check out their website here and their socials below.