Teenage Wrist combine grunge and shoegaze, recalling the overlap the two genres enjoyed back in their heyday, except this time out it's filtered through the three decades of rock music that came after. Their debut album has the most in common with acts such as Swervedriver, but overall, it would have been at home if it was released in the 2000s; its cleaner production and often on-the-nose lyrics borrow heavily from the alt-rock and emo acts that dominated guitar music at the time. In a word, it's derivative, almost to the point of homage; it picks from so many bands that it can only amount to the sum of its influences. The band make up for some of the derivation with sheer enthusiasm, going all-out on tracks such as "Dweeb" and "Swallow,." but they shine brightest when they lean into their shoegaze influences, with album highlights including the cooing "Stoned, Alone" and the My Bloody Valentine-indebted "Kibo." Perhaps it's because the alt-rock/emo approach is a bit dated that "Supermachine" feels like the least relevant thing here, bordering on cringeworthy at times. The salient point is that fans of their later influences will likely acclimate to the gauzy, Wall of Sound side of the band, but given the nature of shoegaze purists, it's hard to imagine a show of leniency toward any hint of pop punk. Still, there's an audience out there that Teenage Wrist will appease, and if anything, they can be proud of creating another niche inside of a genre known for its niches.
AllMusic Review by Liam Martin