Teaneck - (Demo)

Charmingly lo-fi, upbeat and poppy, ready to rock at a moment’s notice… not only do Teaneck put on an amazing live show – they are definitely the friendliest band that I have ever encountered. After hearing a few tracks off of their myspace page, and noting that they were scheduled to perform with let's go sailing, I decided to check out Teaneck’s live show at local rock club, Spaceland. I was admittedly lured not only by the promise of a decent set, but by, according to their website, guranteed "free hugs and handshakes" and epic battle stories. Lead singer Loren Isaac supposedly came up with the idea of the band after getting hit by a car speeding along at 35 mph in Los Feliz. "I basically knew it was now or never", he says. "So I made some calls to friends and got the ball rolling. That is, after all my extensive bruising healed."

As I waited, drink in hand, for Teaneck to emerge from behind ragged gold lamé curtains, I wondered if the boys could hold the attention of a notoriously discriminating Spaceland audience. They did not disappoint. The minute Teaneck entered the spotlight, I couldn’t help but get caught up in the infectious melodies and the energetic, playful stage presence of the band. The young audience apparently couldn’t contain themselves either, as I watched two girls in leg warmers bop about the dance floor, grabbing a slender corduroy-draped twenty-something to join their in their rhythmic flailing. Though made up of only three musicians: Craig Wahl on bass and Jeff Burke on drums with front-man Isaac, the energy and the bright, sunny sound reverberating in the tiny club could’ve easily come from a five piece. Teaneck are a band who truly love performing, and who are more than eager to share their joy with their youthful audience.

After feeding on the excitement of their live performance, I stepped up to congratulate the band members, and was indeed immediately greeted with hugs. This was not the wary, reserved hipster hello I was accustomed to. It was great! I was given a rough demo that the band had recorded, with a promise that new songs would soon follow. “You’re So Gone” immediately grabbed my attention with it’s old-timey one-two-one-two western swing, similar in structure to Tex William’s “Smoke! Smoke! Smoke! (That Cigarette).” Just as soon as you settle into the boppy 1940's beat, the band jerks you back into a rocking, triumphant chorus: “Everyone knows you’re going down!” “I Could Never,” one of Teaneck’s newer songs, has a darker alt-pop verse with a catchy chorus, and a brief yet impressive guitar solo from Isaac. Again, even with the somewhat murky production, it sounds like there are more instruments and musicians in the band than there are in reality. Good stuff.

Though you can certainly hear the influences of Weezer, Foo Fighters, and the Pixies in their music, Teaneck have managed to develop a unique sound all their own, and exude a confidence in their musical direction rarely seen in new bands. They continue to surprise me with their range, which runs the gamut of caffeinated country-western to power pop to early VanHalen era RAWK. I’m looking forward to hearing the final, polished LP.

--Courtney Wachs

Teaneck Website


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