New York City-based hard rock act TOURNAMENT have released the title track to their “Teenage Creature” album, set for release March 25th, 2016. This is Tournament‘s first release with The End Records. “Teenage Creature” just premiered with Brooklyn Vegan, check it out below:
01. Teenage Creature **
02. Too Far Gone
04. Eye On You
06. Biff’s Future
08. Sean’s Place
09. Accident Boys (Trouble)
10. No Control
11. Life Is Over
Tournament are here to show you that rock isn’t dead; in fact it’s never been more alive. The members of the band all aptly hail from Rockland County, New York, and have known each other since they were teenagers. However it wasn’t until 2006 that the band—vocalist/guitarist Montana Masback, guitarist Sean Kraft, bassist Ryan Kelly and drummer Jordan Lovelace—migrated to Brooklyn and officially formed Tournament out of the ashes of their previous acts. Since then they’ve played countless shows and released the 2008 EP S”wordswallower”, 2009 full-length Years Old and the 2011 7-inch “Rx/Collar”. That said, their long-awaited new full-length “Teenage Creature” is unquestionably the pinnacle of their career and showcases how the band have fully developed their sound over the past few years.
That doesn’t mean the process was painless. In fact in order to finish the album, which was recorded in their own studio and co-engineered by Lovelace and Kyle Keays Hagerman (Destruction Unit, The Men), Tournament had to reinvent themselves. “The record in its original form is completely different from what we are releasing now,” Kraft adds. “After a period of losing our way we made an effort to get back to the basics, strip everything down and simplify a lot of the manic ideas we had.” Turning points for the band were songs like “Scattered” and “Teenage Creature,” which saw them curbing their more experimental tendencies to create the type of urgent music they bonded over in the first place.
From the opening lick of the album’s title track, Tournament set the tone early via rumbling bass, Hellacopters-worthy guitar riffing, gritty vocals and a melodic sensibility that keeps these songs as infectious as they are incendiary. There’s also plenty of diversity inherent on “Teenage Creatur”e from the psychedelic instrumental track “Biff’s Future” to the relentless raw power of “Scattered.”
“We draw from many different influences and time periods but the moment a riff is introduced we know if it will work for Tournament or not,” Kraft explains. While the band cites acts like Thin Lizzy and Hot Snakes as influences, they’ve always found it important to develop their own sound even when it’s to their own detriment. “We’ve always felt like outsiders and I think that’s part of our collective mantra,” he continues, adding that the group feels a kinship with other acts who don’t quite fit in.
“Teenage Creature” touches on themes such as urban squalor, disillusionment with your peers, fading youth, dystopian futures and out-partying the devil, among other things. “I think our lyrical approach on this record in general was to try not to over think it, just have fun and laugh in the face of everything that crosses our path,” Lovelace notes. Masback adds that the revolving cast of characters in New York City and the group’s daily interaction with their surroundings also played a big part in the writing of the album. “We wanted to avoid being too cryptic or obtuse and by doing so we felt like we could make the lyrics more relatable for everyone,” he continues. In that spirit, songs like “No Control,” “Problems” and “Life Is Over” address the universal human condition in a way that’s far more celebratory than it is melancholy.
Ultimately “Teenage Creature” is the type of album that isn’t built on hype or buzzwords but lets the music speak for itself—and it does that in a voice that’s grizzled by late-night shredding, whiskey shots and cigarettes. “Personally I feel like this album is the best sonic representation of us as a band and people,” Kraft summarizes. Whether you’ve caught one of the band’s live performances or are only now hearing Tournament for the first time, there’s no question that this is destined to be one of the most exciting rock albums of 2016. Better yet, the group are already hard at work on a tour and follow-up release that will see them taking “Teenage Creature”‘s momentum to the future and beyond.