Jersey Shore DIY luminaries Teenage Halloween dropped “Stationary,” the first single from their eponymous debut LP due out in September, now available for pre-order on vinyl and cassette on BandCamp. I’ll never forget first hearing Teenage Halloween when I had the chance to see them play with Rozwell Kid at Brooklyn Bazaar a year or two back. The group took the stage as unassumingly as six people could, as lead singer Luke Henderiks quietly introduced the band while tuning their guitar. With three hits of a drumstick and a lick of the saxophone the band dove head first into one of the catchiest pop punk songs I’d heard in ages. As the track charged forward, Teenage Halloween quickly felt like something out of a movie. Each member of the group had such a strong and unique presence on stage while still clearly feeling like a cohesive unit, like if Jeff Rosenstock was tasked with putting together a queer punk version of Mystery Incorporated. As soon as their set ended I ran up and bought a shirt that had Hagrid on the front with Teenage Halloween underneath.
“Stationary” is not just the lead single from what will be the band’s debut LP but is also the album’s lead off track. It will end up serving as a fantastic introduction to the band for many a new fan, as it shows off almost everything the group does so well. Luke’s voice has just enough of a raspy punk edge to it while he hits every note, pouring their whole heart and throat into every word. The track rides like a roller coaster, with roaring peaks, quiet introspective valleys, and thumping heart-racing builds in between. Teenage Halloween’s music often has a cinematic feel to it, or at the very least they sure can paint a picture in my head. As Luke opens singing, “I pass the gas station, my thoughts all seem to rhyme,” they feel like a character out of a Kevin Smith movie, rolling past their local haunts on their way to some job they hate. Luke goes on to sing about how they want to love their partner but the two just aren’t on the same page, shouting, “I’m not the boy you that you thought I cut out to be, no I’m not and that was such a fucked up time, I’m the girl with the hidden roses under the Asbury sky.” Again you can imagine Luke in a movie laying on a blanket on the sandy shore, looking up at the stars with roses in their hair, talking though their feelings with someone who wants to understand so bad but just can’t.
“Stationary” is beautiful and massive. More than anything it has me itching with excitement for this album. This has already been a fantastic year for DIY music from the Garden State with excellent releases from bands like Have a Good Season and Long Neck. With their debut record Teenage Halloween seems poised to keep that Jersey wave rolling strong.
Follow Teenage Halloween on twitter and insta, and go check out Stationary on Apple Music, Spotify, and BandCamp. And be on the look out for their debut album, Teenage Halloween, due out September 18th!!!