Album Review: American Pleasure Club – A Whole Fucking Lifetime of This

By Jon Fuchs, Music Director
[Run For Cover; 2018]
Rating: 7/10

Key Tracks: “all the lonely nights in your life”, “lets move to the desert”, “new years eve”

It’s the Big Joyous Celebration, Let’s Stir the Honeypot, the 2016 record from Teen Suicide, ended an important stage in the band’s career. It would be their final album under the Teen Suicide name, announcing prior to its release that future projects from them will be released under a new moniker. On Christmas Eve 2017, Sam Ray and co. returned as American Pleasure Club and released I Blew on a Dandelion and the Whole World Disappeared, a mini-album that proved how little a name change could do to Ray’s classic lo-fi sound. With A Whole Fucking Lifetime of This, the band returns once again to show how little has changed and how much they’ve grown up.

The album opens up with “florida (voicemail)”, an incredibly soft and delicate acoustic song that holds an atmosphere similar to Teen Suicide tracks like “cop graveyard” and “we found two dead swans and filled their bodies with flowers”, but with a lot more confidence and better production. It sets the mood perfectly before dipping into “this is heaven and i’d die for it”, a beautifully produced song that does a marvelous job of carrying the weight of Ray’s vocals and the piercing guitars to create a luscious soundscape. Sam Ray’s vocals throughout the entire album remain some of the strongest moments on the album, which also picks up immensely on “all the lonely nights in your life”, with his vocals perfectly matching with the tinny guitar picking.

“lets move to the desert” is one of the band’s most interesting tracks, as it samples Frank Ocean’s cover of “At Your Best (You Are Love)” to create its instrumental, feeling like a lost cut from Teen Suicide’s Bonus EP. “seemed like the whole world was lost” is a droning, sincere track that’s like nothing else on the album, thanks to a fitting horn feature from Spencer Radcliffe. “new years eve” is another excellent track on the record, which has the attitude of a washed out, self-loathing pop-punk song that never feels played out or fake.

The biggest issue with the record is a lack of consistency between tracks. “just a mistake” is a perfect example of this, as it’s one of the most mind-boggling tracks in the band’s entire discography. The instrumental, which sounds almost like something from Aphex Twin’s Druqks, starts off promising and very quickly becomes a cringy DDR track when the vocals hit. “eating cherries” is another song that feels a little too left-field to become enjoyable, as it’s filled with autotuned vocals and poorly mixed pianos that drown out the rest of the instruments. Those these songs are some of the weakest songs the band’s put out yet, they never really become a serious distraction or letdown when compared to the quality of the rest of the album.

It might not be their most memorable project, but A Whole Fucking Lifetime of This is a solid introduction to this new chapter in the band’s career. Now almost a decade old, American Pleasure Club seems like the kind of band that should be running out of ideas at this point, but this album only shows how they’re just getting started.

Listen here:

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