Nothing about Shilpa Ray And Her Happy Hookers’ Teenage And Torture is half-assed. Every detail of Ray’s second full-length alongside Her Happy Hookers is imparted with vigor—be it her razor-edged howling, or the biting lyrics that comprise them. Snarling and fierce through imperfection, Ray seizes high impact sounds with an under-processed blues rock vibe. There’s also just enough of a pop element thrown in to keep songs like “Heaven In Stereo” forcibly parading through your head, whether you like it or not. In this fleeting number, just under three minutes and the album’s shortest, distorted riffs complement a light, melodic chorus. A driving undertow of a beat sweeps the listener from start to finish.
The rolling bass line that introduces standout track “Liquidation Sale” initiates a sharp and unapologetic swinging musical assault. The smoky old-time feel of this number is boosted by Ray’s acidic purring, plus the occasional predatory feline yowl. “Erotolepsy,” which follows two songs later, is packed with vicious energy and is the antithesis of timidity. Her boisterous harmonium, a sort of keyboard/accordion-like instrument introduces the track, adds some fun to the mix.
The final number, “Requiem In A Key I Don’t Know,” is sleepy and swaying. It decelerates the pace, allowing the listener to recover from the stinging journey that is Teenage And Torture while showcasing the muted combination of musical elements. Much like the disordered thought patterns that come before sleep, dream-like backing vocals and twangy instrumentals transport us into another reality.