Teen Runnings were way ahead of the curve. The trio — initially known as Friends — were playing a take on beach-fitting rock all the way back when MySpace was still the dominate way to find out about new music. They added a thick layer of distortion, lending their songs a sense of unease the otherwise fun-in-the-sun melodies didn’t bring. But then they went on hiatus…and suddenly every ascendant rock band in Japan was also playing sun-dappled rock. The noise coating it was gone, but it’s tough listening to half of these bands and walk away not thinking “man…Teen Runnings was just way better than this Mac DeMarco stuff.”
But now they are back! For at least one new song (demo, technically, but we can make an exception here) and a show in Montreal later this month. “Hair Wax ’95” is not as feedback-drenched as older Teen Runnings’ cuts, opting instead for a bouncy, vaguely tropical number. The lyrics, though, still lean towards the less tubular, even if they often sound upbeat enough. Here’s hoping for more. Listen above.