Accurately portraying the angst amongst teenagers around the world, Departures’ LP Teenage Haze couldn’t be described more perfectly as the band have done so themselves, it’s “the sound of growing up.” With all the emotionally charged vocals from James McKean that rival La Dispute, what you initially grasp from their second length, is the consistency – ‘Teenage Haze’ is nothing if not confident.
Ultimately, the sheer rawness of McKean’s vocals allow Departures to be filed within your mind as a band to be taken seriously. The degree of believability coming through from the Glaswegian five piece is very similar to that of Devil Sold His Soul, and sure, there might be the mention of relationships ending (‘Drained Out’) and mortality (‘Making Maps’), however it’s not all Kleenex and fist clenching;
You’ll feel the emotion straight away, ‘Drained Out’ is packed with energy in the right places. The track – although relentless when McKean’s howling vocals take over – is perfect when the soothing contrast of the guitars come together to making this an impressive opener for the LP. There are less gritty melodies that can be heard on the album too, and recorded on the spot, the single guitar line on the brief title track eases the hurricane of sound that the previous four tracks proposed onto your ears and, quickly after, ‘Those Miles Meant Everything’ (which was re-recorded to do it justice), quickly reimburses you into the storm with an added calm.
Having began the year with a signing to In At The Deep End Records – a label that has history with bands like Architects and Gallows – Departures are beginning to concrete their future. And we all get it… life for a teenage girl or boy can suck/did suck, and whether you’re trying to fight the years that will uncontrollably pass by you, Teenage Haze will remedy away some of this – at least for the duration of these thirty minutes.