If I were to open a door to an underground bar in Italy, I would expect nothing more than the sweet dirty/sultry grunge/punk that Aged Teen is known for.
Searching for a label, but letting us in on it, Aged Teen let us have a spin at This is Not an Exit. Dario Guarino, Lorenzo De Stefano, Dario Graziano and Marco Iervolino hauntingly work their way into your psyche with a brilliance you’ll want to succumb to.
As Guarino’s voice lingers on the macabre, his English lyrics move in and out of simplistic guitar riffs and ambient synth as the first two tracks (“Close” and “Endless Dawn”) kick off the EP. De Stefano’s drifting riffs continue into “Nightmares” before these Italians shift pace and really get rocking. “Seaside Suicide” stretches their true grunge legs and allows Iervolino to really open up. The track is eleven seconds shy of the five minute mark, which, for this style would exhaust the hell out of me. Ending on a sustained wail (with slight cough) and noodly guitar/sound effect explosion makes the whole track even more worth it. Even the acoustic “Self-Doubt,” which makes me wonder what Eddie Vedder may have sounded like if he were Italian and with less rasp, though it is off-pace from the prior track has me hooked. The EP closes off with the B-Horror-Movie inspired “Shocking Blue.” The track has its own video of horror movie clips that is worth checking out to any fans of the genre (due to violence, I’m opting out of linking it here).
Beginning slow and ending on the heavy side, This is Not an Exit grows into a formidable beast. Like an Italian Werewolf in…Italy…, it becomes an animal within itself and is an experience from beginning to end. Noticeable cinematic influence helped craft what is one of the more original EPs I’ve heard in some time. Luckily for us this sound doesn’t require an invite and it most certainly is not an exit but a firm entrance that should grab your attention.