Needless to say, it is hard to break through a crowded scene as the so-called melodic hardcore genre. Since they released their first LP When Losing Everything is Everything You Wanted, Departures got all my attention. This hardcore quintet from Glasgow is set to release their second effort Teenage Haze via In At The Deep End Records, and also recently announced their signing with the American label No Sleep Records. One thing for sure, Departures is ready to take the next step up.
On their new record, the band has obviously developed a more grown-up sound and musical approach. You probably heard this so many times but if you already listened to their previous material, you can feel a natural evolution in their soundscape.
The album takes off with ‘Drained Out’ and ‘Making maps’, two melodic songs whose rhythm section and guitar lines are quite impressive. Great manner to start this 30-min bracing journey. ‘21’ is an explosive tune whose fast beats really suit the passionate potency of the song. Title track ‘Teenage Haze’ is an interesting instrumental interlude with a nice drum pattern, which directly leads into ‘Those miles meant everything’, a song were a light guitar tone is mixed with a repetitive drumbeat. This song was on the track list of Green Turns To Red, Then Turns To Gold, their previous 7”, previously reviewed here.
James McKean’s vocals are desperate and rough but unfortunately don’t always fit with some of the songs configuration. Less monotone singings would probably have made the album much more accessible. Still, no doubt these guys have topped everything they’ve written before with this new effort. Teenage Haze is a strength and emotive record and is definitely worth listening, even if more nuances would have made it an amazing LP.
Departures is a young band and still got time to progress. What we heard on this new album is already fairly remarkable. They’re of course influenced and inspired by bands like Defeater and More Than Life but these guys understood the need to keep their sound fresh by trying new things. They are now slowly building a place in the UK hardcore scene and will soon stop being compared to other bands.
Track list – Teenage Haze:
1. Drained Out
2. Making Maps
4. The Home Stretch
5. Teenage Haze
6. Those Miles Meant Everything
7. Where The Time Will Go
8. Planting Weeds
9. Small Steps
Written by Alex Tabankia