Scottish post hardcore nutters Teenage China are a brilliantly bizarre prospect that are difficult to categorise. The band sound like Visible Noise legends Brides had an unfortunate bone-splintering, head-on collision with tech-emo mentalists Hondo Maclean and then some bloke called Ged Cartwright decided to sing over it (more on this gentleman later).
Forth is Teenage China’s debut EP and it really doesn’t have any right sounding so accomplished. The songs are beautifully crafted, yet somewhat mangled displays of guitar technicality loaded with heaps of melody. The songs don’t sit still for a very long and both Barry Topping and Richard Fish have to be commended for being so fascinatingly creative with their guitar parts.
Bolstering the completely wild nature of the music is Ged Cartwright who is quite simply a bit of a revelation. Cartwright is a hugely talented vocalist with an enormous range that makes songs like Millionmurk spark and fizz with electricity. The chorus is the EP’s best and it’ll be stuck in your head for weeks. Cartwright has to be one of the most impressive vocalists I’ve had the pleasure of listening to in quite some time.
The only real weakness on Teenage China’s Forth is that Embrace the Street and doesawasphaveaface have trouble competing with Millionmurk. Both songs are technically amazing displays of post hardcore, but they lack a chorus or a hook as strong as those in the first song. This is not to say that the songs aren’t as enjoyable, but Millionmurk just feels like it had the most effort put into it. It has Cartwright’s most astounding falsetto, a wondrous key change and a chorus that sounds like it should be blasted across a field of thousands to fully appreciate.
If Teenage China focus on reigning in their eccentricities and creating more memorable hooks then the band will be unstoppable. Forth is still an amazing post hardcore release by anyone’s standards and it’s filled to the brim with brilliant riffs and melodies. This is an amazing debut that showcases a band with so many ideas it’s quite frankly unbelievable that they’ve managed to cram them all into 3 songs. Avoid these boys at your own peril; you’ll be missing one hell of a ride.
Teenage China’s Forth is available to buy directly from the band now.