Thursday, October 2, 2014

Beach Slang, Cheap Thrills on a Dead End Street / Who Would Ever Want Anything So Broken?, 2014

Commuter Blues Record Review

“It's Friday night and I'm in the basement, screaming out my lungs with my best friends.” -- from Beach Slang's "American Girls and French Kisses"

That's it right there. That’s the whole thing.

Isn’t that what we’re all looking for?

Flashback to the Fall of 1981. 

Frank Rao’s older brother hit eject on the boombox that was blaring Def Leppard’s “Bringin’ On The Heartbreak” and tossed it out the window into the front yard. 

"You can’t hang with us down in the basement until you get rid of this crap."

He put on a tape labeled “Clash," pressed play, and started shouting the lyrics to "London Calling" as he left the room. The rest, as they say, is history.

Thirty something years later, it’s still what I want. Sing along songs, sing along forever, yeah, whatever you’ve got, with my finger in the air. That’s what I feel when I listen to the two 7”s that Beach Slang have released this year. I hear equal parts Replacements, Psychedelic Furs, Superchunk, and the Jawbreaker / Jets To Brazil / Forgetters world of Blake Schwarzenbach. I hear 80s modern rock filtered through the early 90s straight through to today. Beach Slang have managed to create, for me, instant classics. These are melodic punk rock songs with not an ounce of filler.

Beach Slang are made up of veteran Philly punks James Alex, Ed McNulty, and JP Flexner. They say it best themselves: "Beach Slang are  guitar, bass, and drums played loudly."

If the world were right, I could turn on the radio and "All Fuzzed Out" would be on. This is a passionate affair about being thrilled to be alive and messed up at the same time and how we all get by with a little help from our friends. Get the Cheap Thrills On A Dead End Street (Tiny Engines. Available now digitally with a physical release slated for 10/28.) and Who Would Ever Want Anything So Broken? (Dead Broke Rekerds. Available now.) 7"s. Do it. Your Friday nights could use some sing alongs.

Maybe I get lucky and Beach Slang play Home For The Holidays with The Bouncing Souls this year. Just an idea and I can hope, right? In the meantime, we can all catch them when they come to Asbury Lanes on October 16th with Cheap Girls, Signals Midwest, and Lee Corey Oswald.

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