Album Review: Car Seat Headrest – “Making A Door Less Open”

Posted: by The Editor

The Seattle-based band, Car Seat Headrest, have released their highly anticipated comeback after their re-recorded Twin Fantasy in 2018. The quartet, lead by Will Toldeo, have developed a garage-esque rock sound. However, on their latest release, Making A Door Less Open they’ve kept that garage-y, lo-fi-y sound but incorporated more electronic instrumentals in place of their typical guitar driven tracks. Making this record a unique departure from the sound we’re familiar with from this project.

Opening track “Weightlifters” the first minute of the track are these blaring almost whiney sounds that give off an ominous mood. The track then builds into a drum pattern and layers on the other instruments such as guitar and vocals. Will’s vocals still have that raspy quality to them, but “Weightlifters” has a little more of a pop element than Car Seat Headrest’s previous releases. The track has an interesting blend of sounds but feels a little more relaxed as far as the songwriting goes than what we are used to from this project.

The band gives more of their typical guitar sound on “Deadline (Hostile)”, a track that is lyrically very interesting. Chronicling the procrastination of not getting something done. The lyrics really express the circle of thoughts when you’re trying to get something done, but are thinking about something or someone else. Accompanied by their signature guitar sound, the band delivers more of their familiar sounds on this track. Something that isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but shows a little growth in the band’s sound.

Other tracks such as “Hymn – Remix” showcase more of the experimentation that the band pulls forth on Making A Door Less Open. The track incorporates more electronic instrumentation with a blend of guitar work that offers more of a pop-centric twist to their sound. “Martian” also does this well by having a drum machine and a little more simplistic guitar work. The guitar sound on this track is cleaner, a little less grimey than their previous sound. That cleanliness also translates to Will’s vocals, harmonizing on some moments across the track. Overall on “Martian” the track exudes a little less roughness on the production side and leans more into cleaner, crisper sounds than what Car Seat Headrest has shown us before.

Lyrically on Making A Door Less Open, the band seems to air out some of their frustrations and concerns with the pressure of “fame” that they have taken on with the popularity of their music. On Hollywood, screaming “Hollywood makes me wanna puke” and on closing track “Famous” singing “Please let this matter”, “I need a break/I need a life that’s right.” It seems like the band on this record is just releasing some of the exhaustion that comes with being in a band of Car Seat Headrest’s reach. Not to say that they’re not appreciative of it, but a lot of the time bands do go through a lot to just put a record out. On this record, Car Seat Headrest definitely delivers more experimentation and departures from their previous guitar-driven sound. Incorporating new instrumentation and emphasis on lyricism, the band made a really interesting record on Making A Door Less Open. A unique stand-alone record in their discography.


Sarah Knoll

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