Teenage and Torture, the sophomore release by Shilpa Ray and her Happy Hookers, offers more than just one anthem for the outraged and the furious. Hookers, the opening track, hares off with a pulsating, blood-boiling rhythm. “Click on me boy,” Ray dares her antagonist throughout the chorus. The Animosity triggered by Teenage and Torture quickly takes over and devours all other rationale. Suddenly, while listening to The Happy Hookers, it’s never felt so good to feel so angry.
Heaven in Stereo, with its manic vigor, will set fans ablaze. As the main contender for hit single on the album, it’s a catchy tune overflowing with anxious energy and dauntless revelations. Check out this track’s campy video by Will Joines, inspired by 80’s slasher movies. It’s a special treat for fans of The Happy Hookers, as well as horror and gore enthusiasts.
Not every song on Teenage and Torture is so belligerent. Surrendering herself to love and despair as well as bellicose rage, Shilpa Ray will pick you up to bring you down. Tracks like Venus Shaver, Dames A Dime A Dozen, and Genie’s Drugs come from the heart of a hopeless romantic. These ballads cool down the album and offer a much needed break from the ferocity and intensity of Ray’s wrath.
Midway through Teenage and Torture, just as you let down your guard, Ray unleashes her most audacious number, Liquidation Sale, in which she howls and moans like a dog rabid with hate. “Fuck you—fuck you—fuck you,” she utters under her smoky breath moments before erupting into a raging tantrum. It’s a friendly reminder that Ray’s bite just might be as bad as her bark.
Teenage and Torture, the band’s first album with Knitting Factory Records, will be available Tuesday, and their record release party will be at Brooklyn Bowl this Friday, January 21st, with Soft Black and She Keeps Bees. Make it your business to be there. But be warned. Shilpa Ray and Her Happy Hookers are not for the weak of heart.