The anxious energy of youth set to dynamic arcs of musicianship.
Label: Big Scary Monsters
Released: 23rd October 2015
Philadelphia’s Beach Slang bring an undeniably infectious energy both live and on record, proved by two 2014 EPs and performances on their debut UK/EU tour. An agitated mix of emo-punk sounds from Texas Is The Reason to The Replacements, their popularity has spread quickly via word of mouth. Now in focus, debut album ‘The Things We Do To Find People Who Feel Like Us’ is one of the focal points for punk rock in 2015.
“No, these Streets don’t feel like love. They’re not hungry or wild enough.” sings vocalist James Alex for the opening moments of ‘Throwaways’, introducing feelings of fiery young-adult dissatisfaction that come in swathes across this record. Beach Slang are more than simply well-written punk rock too; ‘Bad Art & Weirdo Ideas’ shows the enduring influence of prettier indie-rock to the emo palette, complete with jangly guitar riffs supported by breathy backing vocals.
It’s not until track three that Beach Slang actually get going when ‘Noisey Heaven’’s dynamism hits, its breakdown suddenly cleared by the band crashing back unexpectedly. If the band had started the record here then they truly would be charging out of the gates from the beginning, especially considering that they next launch into the urgent and appropriately-titled talk of youthful intoxication ‘Ride The Wild Haze’.
A comparatively weaker, more acoustic/violin based track brings some variation at least, but the real substance comes with ‘I Break Guitars’ then ‘Young & Alive’, one of the most exciting tracks this band have ever written, even if just for its rushing refrain that’ll have fans screaming its lyrics.
‘Porno Love’ is an excellent reminder of how amazing this type of music can be at calmer levels and the final two offerings showing how engaging it can be with the energy ramped up. It waivers at times, but on the whole this perfectly-titled album delivers Beach Slang at their best: the anxious energy of youth set to dynamic arcs of musicianship. James Fox