Beach Slang

The Things We Do To Find People Who Feel Like Us

Written by: PP on 09/12/2015 00:31:27

In essence, "The Things We Do To Find People Who Feel Like Us" is the perfect album title for Beach Slang's debut album. It captures the outsider spirit and raw honesty of their earlier work in one phrase, and at the same time feels like a natural descriptor for the record itself. It sounds exactly like the two critically acclaimed EPs from last year did, which the band has stated in interviews done on purpose because the anthemic brand of reverb-laden, noisy punk rock is exactly how they want their music to sound like. Basically, if The Replacements, Jawbreaker, and Goo Goo Dolls all exchanged their best ideas, the result would be this album. With universal acclaim and numerous top three spots at end-of-year lists underneath their belt already at the time of this writing, "The Things We Do..." is not only a worthy follow-up to those EPs, it is in many ways a betterment of the Beach Slang sound with a few twists ensuring they're not just repeating the same songs over and over again.

Led by the smoky, youthful nostalgia-driven vocals of James Alex, Beach Slang capture a vintage sound in a modern package in an extremely convincing manner. The record is buzzing with energy, loaded with honesty-driven melodies, and characterized by its back-chilling guitar melodies and infectious choruses. Most of all, it is filled with catchphrases that accurately represent an entire generation of disenfranchised alternative rock fans without ever needing to go sociopolitical: "I can't think with all this noise [...] if rock'n'roll is so dangerous, how come I feel so safe in it?" is an excellent example from "I Break Guitars", but likewise, the opening lyrics of "The night is alive, it's loud and I'm drunk / Kissing the mic and singing about us / The songs that I make, I barely rehearse them / They're hardly mistakes, they're meant to be honest" on "Noisy Heaven" could be sung by any music enthusiast who has attended an intimate basement concerts in the past few years, thinking to themselves that mainstream people just don't get it. When you add to this formula punk overtones and vivid, eerie guitar melodies, the resulting combination is lethal for most rock music fans precisely because of how freely and comfortably the expression alternatives between so many different genres. You'll hear grunge influence, 90s alternative rock inspiration, and punk rock rhythms all mashed together into a soundscape that is as infectiously sing-along catchy as it memorable and depth-laden.

Already on the EPs, Beach Slang specialized in a particular kind of punk-fueled alternative rock anthem with powerfully honest and captivating lyrical universes that were relatable by everyone. Here, they take a couple of experiments that deviate from that style ever-so-slightly. "Bad Art & Weirdo Ideas", for instance, is an eerily dreamy and fluffy song with it's softly hummed "oooh-ooh" passages; "Young & Alive" is even noisier and much heavier than their EP material; and "Run The Wild Haze" is the fastest song they've written. So they go in all directions, but they are still at their very best when it comes down to writing the classic call/response type of songs. "Hard Luck Kid", for instance, follows a very similar pattern as the EP songs, but its lyrics of "I'm a hard luck kid, so why even try?" resonate with anyone who's ever had a period of bad luck in their lives. The song is insanely catchy and leads straight into one of the quirkiest and best guitar melodies on the album, "Dirty Lights", which has slowly become my favorite track on the record given its sublime melody. Then again, "Throwaways" is buzzing with vibrant energy and sing-along phrases, the acoustic ballad "Too Late To Die Young" melancholically states "Too young to die, too late to die young", and "Porno Love" is a soothing low-tempo track that contrasts the other tracks on the record nicely, so it's not an easy pick.

There was always a danger that the EPs were going to be the highlight of Beach Slang's career given how energizing they felt and the kind of a buzz that surrounded them primarily at the FEST circles when originally released. Back then, I wrote in my review of "Cheap Thrills..." that had they been released together, they would've been the best album in 2014. But with so many brilliant songs, "The Things We Do To Find People Like Us" is arguably even better than the EPs with only slightly more polished production. What's certain is that the record has been universally acclaimed since its release. Beach Slang are the next big thing, you read it first here.


Download: Throwaways, I Break Guitars, Hard Luck Kid, Dirty Lights, Noisy Heaven
For the fans of: The Replacements, Jawbreaker, Goo Goo Dolls, Leatherface
Listen: Facebook

Release date 30.10.2015
Polyvinyl Records

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