Teenage Haze

Written by: PP on 14/02/2013 22:43:38

Wow. That's all I can attest to the improvement of Scotland's Departures from their debut album to their sophomore album "Teenage Haze". Every area has improved, but especially the production has leaped forward, which has been key in exposing bare the emotionally tormented, passionate vocal delivery of James McKean. His tortured how rivals in desperation any melodic hardcore vocalist you dare name, but especially those who originate from the post-hardcore corner of the spectrum. Here I'm thinking of the likes of Pianos Become The Teeth and Defeater, both bands renowned for their devastating vocal performances that are best described as back-chilling thanks to the sheer amount of urgency and immediacy they pack into their delivery. McKean on "Teenage Haze" basically elevates himself into the select few within the genre whose vocals are synonymous with passionate emotional delivery.

But it's not just the vocals that benefit from the crisp production. The instrumentals, too, have been refined, and now consist almost exclusively of somber melodies that contrast the distorted screams, before transitioning into soaring melodies that provide a beautiful instrumental landscape for the record. It's highly emotionally charged to start out with, and then when you latch on McKean's tempestuous delivery, it's an intoxicating mixture that suggests Departures could become the scene leaders in the UK for this type of music very shortly. At the very least, they must be contesting very closely with Landscapes for the most desperate soundscape in the region, and arguably also for one of the most well-developed and dynamic expressions within the more melodic realms of hardcore found in the UK.

If debut album "When Losing Everything Is Everything You Wanted" established Departures as a band with enormous potential, then "Teenage Haze" is the album where they begin delivering some of that potential. Few bands are able to torment their listeners emotionally in as convincing and as raw manner as Departures do here.


Download: 21, Those Miles Meant Everything
For the fans of: La Dispute, Pianos Become The Teeth, Defeater, Touché Amoré
Listen: Facebook

Release date 27.11.2012
In At The Deep End Records / No Sleep Records

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