Asbury Park octet Teenage Halloween proves their strength in numbers only underlines sharp power pop with flecks of basement folk and ska. (It’s worth mentioning this band carts around a trumpeter, saxophonist, and trombonist. The band’s trombonist, Connor Egan, even doubles as a flautist.) Their sophomore effort, Eternal Roast, is anarchic and pastel: the sonic equivalent of brushing your teeth with Fun Dip. A vibrant comedown would surely follow any quick rush like that one, as it does on “666!,” the release’s last track. Tethered to Danni May Ciminnisi’s somersaulting keyboards and Brian DeSeno’s nodding drums, the song stumbles into greatness while refusing to hide its scuffed knees. As vocalist/guitarist Luke Henderiks explains, the song tackles “how society forces people to act in a certain way to please the masses,” stifling creativity, identity and positivity. The whole ride unravels in the center to really show off its composition (horns galore) and the perfect score to an impending existential nightmare – it’s immediately creative, identifiable, and positive. Such a situation would be a scary one if not pulled off with a smile and a wave, and as a kiss-off to their latest release, it greets a whole new field of possibility.
Eternal Roast will be released digitally and on cassette October 20th via Get Better Records and Fistolo Records. You can also grab a single here, which benefits “Medical Bills For Those Activists Fighting Against Fascism & Racism.”