That’s right, it’s that time of year again. The time of year where I (and hopefully Sean and John) dump any thoughts they had about albums we never got around to writing about in to posts that will probably be of questionable quality, while our annual top tens wait just beyond the horizon. There’s no doubting that 2016 was a crap year, while it’s harder to say whether it was a not-so-crap year for music. Though it’s starting to feel like it was, as I begin whittling down my top ten and it looks like there was a lot of good stuff that probably won’t squeeze their way onto my list, but I guess that’s another upside of these yearly round-up reviews – to talk about good stuff that we might not get another chance to talk about.
I guess the biggest reason I never got to writing about Beach Slang’s sophomore album – which I would certainly put in the category of “good stuff” – is that I kind of feel like I already wrote about this album around this time last year. You see, this is one of those classic “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” follow-ups that often come from rock bands who come storming out of the gate with a fantastic debut like Beach Slang’s The Things We Do To Find People Who Feel Like Us. In addition to also being a heart-on-your-sleeve mouthful of an album title, A Loud Bash Of Teenage Feelings retains all of the shaggy-dog bluster and youthful abandon of the band’s 2015 debut. And in the process, it sees the band combining piercing guitar riffs with mantras like “I can’t love you raw enough” and “I’m hardly ever right, but I’ve never been wrong”, while ever-deepening the band’s underdog worldview.
And I guess that’s why I’m ok with Beach Slang kind of doing the same thing on this quickie follow-up. It doesn’t necessarily feel like they’re repeating themselves, because despite their scrappiness, this band’s ambitions seems bigger than just one song or one album. That was pretty apparent when I saw Beach Slang live earlier this year, at their Seattle gig that happened just after the band came mighty close to breaking up just one show prior. But thank goodness, they’ve soldiered on. Because a band like this has to soldier on, and keep reminding their small but devoted following of the almighty power and redemption that lies in sweet, beautiful rock and roll.
Favorite Tracks: “Spin The Dial”, “Hot Tramps”, “Punks In A Disco Bar”
(note: At first, I accidentally wrote in “Hot Trumps” as one of my favorite tracks, because fuck 2016)