Teenage RetirementAnchorless Records
By Sean Ahern
Imagine if Milo from the Descendants married Sheena from Lemuria and then decided to form a polyarmorus think tank with The Menzingers and Japanese noise act Polysics…and you would probably end up with Chumped as the offspring.
Anika, Dan, Doug and Drew recently put our their first LP–Teenage Retirement –and it is as fresh as…okay, well, it came out around Thanksgiving 2014 and has been lauded around the internet as far as I can tell since its release. Rightly so! This album is awesome in all the right ways. Its poppy, funny, abrasive and just a tinge dark in the right ways.
Chumped is good–Anika and the three D’s (Dan, Doug and Drew) are the kind of punk band you grew up with. It reminds me of the first time I heard How I Spent My Summer Vacation by The Bouncing Souls or Chamberlain Waits by The Menzingers. Apt it should be called Teenage Retirement because it makes me feel like I am 19 again. The songs hit me right in the head, instead of the heart, when it recalls feelings I had for classmates and crushes long gone. Teenage Retirement is about thinking, and living and with some regrets within the blank spaces.
“And we drank, and talked shit and I was happy/Tried so desperately to hold onto the feeling/of being young, of being sure, of being lucky,”–Anika gets it. Christ, there are so many people in my life that need “Name That Thing” in their lives right now. I am always relieved when I hear punk bands from the east coast that are so fucking real about their feelings. “Hot 97 Summer Jam” is so true for the nerdy and geeky of us. That feeling of isolation, of being overlooked, that isn’t particularly bleak or dark but among the shadows of youthful summers. “I would wait for you all summer long/ and you would turn me away.” It’s weirdly comforting to hear Anika belt this one out. It says “hey, we’ve all been there, maybe rockers more than anyone. It’s okay.”
I like Chumped. Teenage Retirement is an album to put next to On The Impossible Past, Masked Intruder, or Get Better. It’s fun, and its what punk is supposed to be: about the weird ones among us speaking up for themselves. Making us all dance in the process.