Night Beats

Who Sold My Generation

Written by: BV on 29/02/2016 20:59:03

There’s nothing quite like the utterly shambolic, mayhem-driven garage rock of the distinctly American flavor, coupled with a bit of low-key psychedelia. Night Beats know this, and have apparently known since their self-titled debut album and seemingly perfected the formula on their sophomore effort “Sonic Bloom”. Considering an already impressive back-catalogue the pressure is most definitely real for Night Beats, when it comes to following up on the previous successes. Nonetheless that is exactly what Night Beats are attempting with “Who Sold My Generation”, a blend of scathing semi-political songs and traditional, grimy garage rock.

With tracks like “Sunday Mourning” and “No Cops”, Night Beats certainly aim for greater heights than those previously reached. Lyrically speaking, the content is grim at best – not to say that Night Beats haven’t always had a rather dark side to them. On “No Cops” they get particularly grim with lines like; “Too many seasons in your heart it seems / you look for shells before you fire on the scene / another body on the curb downtown / too scared to even smile when the piper comes in town”. The sheer bite in those lyrics matches the general temperament of the track and it immediately comes off as fast-paced ear-churner of the highest caliber – a veritable peak of the album, if you will.

Tracks like “Shangri Lah” also have the same kind of edge protruding from the very chord progressions, but there is something not quite right about them. Perhaps an element of repetition that is ill-suited for a band well-known for being relatively diverse with a somewhat limited formula. Both their self-titled debut and “Sonic Bloom” made very well use of a limited range of sounds, coming off as vital and, well, attention-grabbing throughout their runtimes. With “Who Sold My Generation” this is not quite the case as I have now found myself getting tired of the album near its conclusion. Although “Egypt Berry”, another personal highlight, actually concludes the album, it is a fairly long journey towards it – a journey with a more than a few uninteresting moments along the way. Take for instance “Last Train to Jordan”, a quite strange track in and of itself, fueled by a sonic playfulness that I usually welcome with open arms. However, with a 4½ minute duration it actually becomes quite tedious towards the end, transforming initial interest into mild dissatisfaction or, at the very least, mild disinterest.

It’s too bad, as you can hear Night Beats are generally enjoying themselves on the record – it reeks of playfulness and a sense of vitality you only get from recording more or less live, but in the end the songs aren’t quite as strong as one would hope on a third album by an otherwise amazing trio. I suppose it’s an unfair amount of pressure to put on them, but in the end “Who Sold My Generation” is an interesting piece of work and seems like a natural progression for the band – the songs just don’t quite match up to the initial brilliance of their self-titled debut in particular.


Download: No Cops, Egypt Berry, Sunday Mourning
For the fans of: Ty Segall, The UFO Club, Cosmonauts
Listen: Facebook

Release date 29.01.2016
Heavenly Recordings

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