Shilpa Ray and Her Happy Hookers may just be the largest band we’ve ever reviewed without a Wikipedia. I am confident that as soon as listeners can give “Teenage and Torture” a fair shake, that those in the know at Wikipedia will fall over themselves creating a page for them. This band has had one previous recording – 2009’s A Fish Hook An Open Eye – which set the stage for much of the material that is present on Teenage and Torture.
However, what Shilpa Ray and eir band do on Teenage and Torture is not merely clean and clarify the sound that they originally committed to disc back in 2009. Rather, the band adds a considerable amount of different styles and sound to their overall feel, while using the work on A Fish Hook as a blueprint on which to work. What results in each of Teenage and Torture’s 10 tracks then is something that is mature, is fulfilling, and will appease long-time fans of the act as well as newbies alike.
Teenage and Torture begins with Liquidation Sale, a track that spends the better part of five minutes establishing the status quo for the album as well as building up momentum for the rest of the disc.
This building process continues through the follow-up tracks to Liquidation Sale; both Venus Shaver and Heaven in Stereo all contribute to the effort. This accumulated goodwill is spent on an expansive seven-plus minute track in Genie’s Drugs. Genie’s Drugs is a tremendous undertaking, but does not suffer due to the track’s length.
Rather, the song allows Shilpa Ray and eir band the opportunity to touch upon countless genres and musical styles. It also acts as a microcosm of the different sounds present on Teenage and Torture. The album ends with Hookers, a six-ish minute track that ensures that listeners are not let down easily. Rather, the quality of this album will have listeners clamoring for more. Check it out.
Top Tracks: Heaven in Stereo, Requiem in a Key I Don’t Know
Shilpa Ray and Her Happy Hookers – Teenage and Torture (CD) / 2011 Knitting Factory / 10 Tracks / http://www.knittingfactory.com