21 February, 2013 in Music Reviews
Album number two sees Beach Fossils writing surf-indie that’s destined to provide the backdrop to many a festival this year
or their sophomore release, Beach Fossils sought to upgrade the lo-fi, punk-style, home recording approach of their debut while maintaining its energy and passion. To do so, they enlisted the production skills of Ben Greenberg (The Men) and have succeeded in delivering a joyful album of breezy, crisp indie.
Clash The Truth contains 14 songs that, with the exception of three instrumental snippets, tend to be driven, sunny surf-rock. All hold the same ingredients but the playing is tight and the performance is particularly special. Dustin Payseur is an assured vocalist and there’s some brilliant drumming on show. However, it is the guitars that particularly engage.
Debut single Shallow has the best guitar line of the lot. Not only this, but in the second verse it’s joined by a shimmering reverb which beautifully envelopes the whole song. On second single Careless, the guitar screech accelerates like a motor car. Elsewhere they chime, noodle and jangle; spattering rifts and melodies over the songs like a Jackson Pollock work.
There are occasionally slight deviations from the script. Track three Sleep Apnea has a slower, dreamy-quality that may find welcoming ears due to its similarity to Tame Impala’s 2012 album Lonerism. Later on, In Vertigo gives things a slightly different atmosphere, featuring an appearance from Blonde Redhead singer Kazu Makino. Makino’s vocal is distorted and muffled but the track remains driven and the pace doesn’t really drop.
Overall the whole thing fits together very nicely, with the centre point of the collection Taking Off, with its big-hearted chorus, a standout moment. A tempting comparison would be The Drums, or a mellower Howler. Yet Beach Fossils seem to effortlessly throw out their brand of breezy surf-indie like it was ingrained in their DNA. Come festival season, it’s a sound that you may well demand to have filling your summer skies.
Verdict: Surf-indie to fill the summer sky