With the release of recent single Elsewhere a sparkling lure to its impending arrival, Teenage Movie Soundtrack has answered the suggestiveness of its lead song and shows itself as an even greater enticement of the promise soaking that lone song of a few weeks back. The debut album from US angst poppers Heyrocco, the ten track encounter is a diverse and magnetic party for ears which weaves the teen angst sounds and emotions of the nineties, the guitar jangle of early Cure, and the dirtier tones of grunge into something unique from the imagination of the band. This still only scratches the surface really but the ultimate result is a release which sounds familiar, nostalgic, and thoroughly fresh, not forgetting highly enjoyable.
Hailing from Charleston, N. Carolina, Heyrocco consists of vocalist/guitarist Nate Merli, bassist Chris Cool, and drummer Tanner Cooper, a trio who has been constantly and increasingly stirring up attention on both sides of the pond since forming around five years ago. Teenage Movie Soundtrack is the band’s largest and strongest nudge on ears and appetites since forming and it starts with a bang through opener Loser Denial.
Guitar and vocals immediately pour their rich expression on ears, the pairing already hinting at the hues of a Weezer which only gets intensified as the song slips into a ripe stroll of rumbling bass, eager beats, and a spicy guitar clang. It is also instantly wrapped in pure infectiousness, a trait invading the whole of the album from hereon in. Virulently increasing in energy and captivating endeavour as it heads towards its riotous finale, the track is an exhilarating start to the release, leaving the listener in an agitated state eager for more, which comes courtesy of the heavier but no less compelling Melt. The air and presence of the song is thicker in emotional intensity but still retains the alluring catchiness of its predecessor, and indeed that same seeding of alternative rock/power pop for its own tempestuously inventive and at times perfectly imposing presence.
The grunge fuelled Virgin comes next, its opening minimalistic croon leading to thick and voracious Nirvana-esque explosions. It is an alluring cycle which is on repeat across a track which dramatically seduces and enslaves ears and emotions. There is no escaping the decade and bands inspiring the invention of Heyrocco or the ability of the threesome to twist them into ravenous incitements of raw and incendiary pop, as proven again by the lighter revelry of Elsewhere. Its opening jangle of hooks and invitational vocals is irresistible bait especially with its whisper of discord, a success eclipsed once the dark tones of bass and subsequent scythes of guitar court the potent variety of vocals across the band. Spiralling melodies and welcoming harmonies continue to exploit the submission given to the song’s charms, even as the outstanding encounter stirs up its creative intensity and volatile shadows to grow into an even bolder and muscular proposal.
A calm of sorts arrives next with the warm caress and enterprise of Mom Jeans, its rhythmic tempting and swinging pop gait a reserved but energetic festival of smouldering reflection and vivacious light locking ears and thoughts into eager attention. The almost sultry embrace of the song is replicated in many ways by First Song, though its tenacious balladry made up with livelier energy and melodies has more of a Costello/Petty-esque feel to it. Compared to previous tracks it takes longer to tempt and never quite manages to spark the same thrills whilst casting its pleasurable persuasion, but it certainly reveals more to the potential soaked depth and diversity in songwriting and sound within Heyrocco.
Alison brings a fiery blaze to ears next; its fuzzy textures and sizzling air colouring a cauldron of angst laden expression and melodic infectiousness bound in searing psych pop enterprise which in turn is equipped with pleasure gripping hooks. The track sizzles on the senses but is soon outshine by the even greater temptation of Jake Miller’s House Party. From its initial blast of spicy grooves and anthemic rhythms aligned to a thick lure of a bassline, imagination casts images of being bound in the throes of heaving bodies bouncing to the song’s puppeteer like tempting. You can picture a video for it straight away, energies and limbs moving in tandem even as the song relaxes a touch from its kinetic start for the great tones of Merli. A stomp of grunge hued rock ‘n’ roll, the song’s seamless flow through controlled and frantic crescendos is as magnetic as the web of invention and flavoursome hooks running incessantly through what proves to be the best track on the album.
The skilful Cure like hug of Santa Fe (Stupid Lovesong) is another which takes it’s time to convince, but eventually its laid back melody cast serenade simply leaves ears smiling whilst closing track Happy with its heavier rock croon ensures the release closes as potently as it began.
As so many, the band’s last single was our introduction to Heyrocco and there is no doubting they thrilled. Now Teenage Movie Soundtrack shows that it was no a flash in the pan but even more that it was just one strong essence in the band’s full sound and inventive presence. The additional excitement bred by the album is that you get the feeling this it only the beginning in their creative journey, just a scratching of the surface.
Teenage Movie Soundtrack is released on July 10th via Vital Music Group