Take Your Time with This One
Teenage Time Killers’ Greatest Hits Vol. 1 has all the makings of a mess. It could have been an assortment of phoned-in compositions, peppered with competing egos and show-off-manship. It isn’t. It’s quite the opposite. The contributors brought their A-games and senses of collaboration and taste, and the result is 20 examples of how the members of the world of metal, punk and hard rock can come together as a family towards a common goal.
Teenage Time Killers is the brainchild of Corrosion of Conformity’s Reed Mullin, My Ruin’s Mick Murphy and producer John “Lou” Lousteau. As the list of artists involved started to grow, the project benefited from Dave Grohl offering his 606 Studios to the cause. Grohl also appears on many of the tracks, staying out of the spotlight on the bass guitar. Teenage Time Killers also includes members of (inhale): Slipknot, Prong, Kyuss, Clutch, Lamb of God, Samhain, Red Flag, Bad Religion, Alkaline Trio, BL’AST!, Fireball Ministry, Blatant Disarray, Eyehategod, Righteous Fool, The Ghost of Saturday Night, Chaotic Justice, Articles of Faith, Brujera… all this and Jello Biafra, too.
Reed Mullin kicks Greatest Hits off with “Exploder,” an ode to the classic days of American hardcore — simple chords, blazing fast, fist-pump-inducing with a breakdown towards the end as elementary as it is effective. “Crowned By the Light of the Sun” delves into doom-metal, helmed by Clutch’s Neil Fallon. Lamb of God’s Randy Blythe handles “Hung Out to Dry” with care, representing speed metal. Jello Biafra spins his anarchistic poetry in “Ode to Hannity.”
Matt Skiba (Alkaline Trio) provides one of the album’s highlights with “Barrio.” It’s the closest TTK comes to a radio-friendly song, which is not to say it’s weak; it’s well-produced and memorable. CoC’s Woody Weatherman joins Mullin on “The Dead Hand” (with Grohl on bass) and aptly constructs the band’s ’90s era thrash feel. Skipknot’s Corey Taylor brings energy and skill in the ironic “Egobomb.” Murphy’s wife and bandmate, Tarrie B., interrupts the testosterone-fest with the deliciously dissonant “Clawhoof.”
Greatest Hits Vol. 1 are short — averaging two minutes apiece, which helps keep it fresh, like a sampler of artists performing at an all-day metal festival. It closes with “Teenage Time Killer,” sung by an actual teenager, 16-year-old Trenton Rogers of Chaotic Justice, but best known for his role in Sons of Anarchy. The rawness of this track legitimizes the entire project and reminds us all where every artist in this collective came from — their garages, with their friends, turning it up to 11 and screaming at 12.