When Teenage Wrist got their start five years ago, they might have seemed like the nice shoegaze kids down the block, and Los Angeles has a few blocks of them. The muscle, melody and emotion on their 2018 debut “Chrome Neon Jesus” set them apart from their pedal-obsessed peers, and even after guitarist Marshall Gallagher stepped in to replace Kamtin Mohager as frontman after that, Teenage Wrist have broadened their horizons.
This week, the band — the core duo is Gallagher and drummer Anthony Salazar — announced the Feb. 12 arrival of their sophomore album “Earth Is a Black Hole” via Epitaph Records. Thematically, they say it’s a balance between the bleak and the bright. Sonically, Teenage Wrist adds some notable flourishes to their arsenal, including an underpinning of various electronic elements. But if the title track and previously released “Silverspoon” are any indication, the new album will still leave you out of breath, your temples pounding.
Produced by Colin Brittain (Basement, A Day to Remember), “Earth Is a Black Hole” has a made-for-1996-rock-radio quality; in many ways, it’s nostalgia done right. It’s a fine fit for this era in other ways, too.
Gallagher posits the album against the current times. “Where do we go when the river runs dry?” he asks in the chorus to the title track, released this week.
“Everything will eventually disappear into nothing and that can make you feel small and insignificant. But that same fact should be motivation to tell the people who are important to you that you love them and savor these beautiful moments in your life because they’re never coming back,” he explains. “All we have is this moment and that’s the most important thing: To be present and be positive and transcend the black hole bullshit, because it’s all going to end one day.”
The new single arrived with a video directed by Lindsey Nico Mann, starring the band and the paper mâché creations of Calder Greenwood.
||| Watch: The video for “Earth Is a Black Hole”