Hunter Wood (guitar/vocals) and Aidan Bettis (bass/guitar) are Gila Teen. The band released Doesn't which combines genres like post-punk/alternative and a couple of other like minded sub-genres.
“Joey Wrote This” is the opener. I really loved the build on this song and the groove. It’s a little more chipper than a song by Joy Division but the groove feels similar. I also quickly recognized the exceptional vocals which have an airy and hopeful feel to them. The song felt out of sync at times. I’m not sure if this was intentional but there were times where I was really feeling the groove and then felt like I was jolted out of it by a note or hit that was like an 1/8th late or early.
That out of sync feeling was not there on “Sleeping In.” “Sleeping In” mixes so many different indie rock styles. Bands like Hum and Modest Mouse came to mind. “Skeletor” was fairly stripped down and has a simplicity to it like a song from Frankie Cosmos.
“Waiting” was an arguable highlight. The vocal melodies were infectious and I loved the melding of ’50s pop with almost a drugged out malaise. This felt like one of the more original songs that got my attention.
The band kind of continues to spread their wings with “Inevitability: 101” that is a short yet experimental punk song that brought to mind the band No Age. The band continues to impress as the album progresses. “SuperBed” was the one that stuck out to me. There was this early Nirvana vibe the song had with catchy vocals.
I think this was a well executed album that displays some of the band's influences. It feels undeniable indie rock in a way that you will only recognize if you grew up on this type of music before streaming sites were around and even before the Internet. Although the band doesn't quite create a signature sound that defines Gila Teen since they bounce around a lot, I thought the songwriting and delivery was not only strong but consistent. This is a good release I think a lot of indie rock fans will appreciate and I hope to hear some more from Gila Teen.
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