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Teenage Symphonies to God

Velvet Crush

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Album Review

Velvet Crush's second album is an old-fashioned pop record: 12 songs in 40 minutes, filled with ultra-melodic guitar hooks and simple, memorable melodies. While it's traditional in form, the music on Teenage Symphonies to God isn't retro. Velvet Crush manage to inject a real enthusiasm and freshness in the standard three-minute pop song, whether they're playing originals that sound like forgotten classics ("Time Wraps Around You," "This Life is Killing Me," "My Blank Pages," "Hold Me Up") or forgotten classics themselves (Gene Clark's "Why Not Your Baby" and Matthew Sweet's "Something's Gotta Give"). With a crisp, warm production from Mitch Easter, Teenage Symphonies to God is one record that deserves to take its title from Brian Wilson.

Biography

Formed: 1989 in Rhode Island

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s

A classic power-pop band in the tradition of the Raspberries and Big Star, Velvet Crush formed in Rhode Island in 1989, although their roots actually extended west to Champaign, Illinois, where vocalist/bassist Paul Chastain and drummer Ric Menck first met and began performing together. There Menck founded his own small label, Picture Book, on which he and Chastain recorded solo material as well as singles under various group names like the Springfields, Choo Choo Train, the Paint Set and Bag O'Shells....
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Teenage Symphonies to God, Velvet Crush
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