CHUMPED: Teenage Retirement: LP/CD

Chumped’s first release featured half a dozen tracks of hook-laden pop punk structured to cater for a loose and energetic delivery, which worked favorably for the band. The band’s debut album contains twice as many songs but I would be hard pressed to exclusively use the term pop punk this time around as Chumped have added an edge of something verging on introspection to its music. There is less of an emphasis on the raucous and more of an equal footing for a melancholic approach, found both in the lyrics but more noticeably in the music. That switch is evident in the first four tracks with the first two providing a gradual stepping stone up to the more hectic “Coffee” before leading into “Novella Ella Ella Eh” where the foot is put firmly to the floor. As the album reaches a close, that foot eases off the pedal, resulting in a final pair of tracks, “The Pains of Being …” and “Old and Tired” which lead Teenage Retirement into a relatively somber end. One of many positives on this album is its recording, which retains the same carefree quality of its predecessor, helping the songs breathe and not be compressed into a lifeless entity. The versatility shown by Chumped makes it stand out as a band worth keeping track of in the future.

 –Rich Cocksedge (Anchorless)