The Austin Chronicle

Phases & Stages

Reviewed by Libby Webster, August 12, 2016, Music

Bandcamp recordings paved the way for Car Seat Headrest's Will Toledo, the best songwriter in contemporary music. The 23-year-old's Teens of Denial thrums with anxiety, existential wrestling, and endless adolescence in a haze of Nineties skuzz. Hints of Nirvana and Pixies, "1937 State Park" evokes the Breeders specifically, but Toledo's pairing of cerebral lyrics with a wild, propulsive need yields an energy that pushes Teens past mere indie rock. It's a rare occasion of art transcending influence, with Toledo sounding like he's coming apart while doing it. (Car Seat Headrest plays Sound on Sound Fest Nov. 5.)


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