Exclaim!'s Top 20 Pop & Rock Albums, Part One Best of 2016



12. Car Seat Headrest
Teens of Denial
(Matador)
 
It is only fitting that Car Seat Headrest signed to Matador for their first proper post-Bandcamp album, since Teens of Denial epitomizes the music that the label produced in its heyday. It's a glorious mix of fuzzy guitars, angsty lyrics and deadpan delivery that amply demonstrates why songwriter Will Toledo is such a force to be reckoned with.
 
It's a sprawling record that doesn't care about how long it takes to get to its final destination. Toledo is a great storyteller, and it's tough to think of a sharper lyricist this year when it comes to tales of cynicism and disaffection. His sense of humour stops it from being a maudlin affair though, and there are numerous quotable lines throughout.
 
It all reaches a climax with the duelling choruses on the mighty "Drunk Drivers/Killer Whales," six of the most satisfying minutes of music released in 2016. But really, Teens of Denial doesn't put a single foot wrong.
Michael Edwards