After an incredibly impressive debut with 2014’s The Things We Do to Find People Who Feel Like Us, Philadelphia-based trio Beach Slang have already gained an impressive following in the indie rock circuit, and their latest release A Loud Bash of Teenage Feelings continues to prove that the band, consisting of James Alex, Ed McNulty, and Ruben Gallego, are true prospects in the music industry. With their first release, Beach Slang introduced a unique sound that came across as blissful punk at its finest. Now that the band has introduced themselves as a noteworthy act, their highly anticipated second record could indicate if they possess a wealth of staying power.
The opening track “Future Mixtape for the Art Kids” practically picks up where their last record ended. With fuzzy vocals and soulful presentation, Beach Slang present their signature style right from the very beginning, but move on to showcase something new shortly after with the track “Atom Bomb” which features an impressively fast rhythm for them and comes across as something that The Hives could have put out in the early 2000’s. This diversity in style is definitely commendable though the band doesn’t stretch too far out of their comfort zone for a lengthy amount of time. Track 3 “Spin the Dial” features such a profuse amount of soul, it’s bordering the lines of becoming heartland rock. With a gorgeous melody and great lead guitar work, “Spin the Dial” is practically a symbol for what makes the band so good. It’s moments like this that prove just how much Beach Slang have grown since their last release without straying too far away from the sound that they previously gained recognition for. Then there are tracks like “The Perfect High” which is almost closer to shoegaze than anything else. This song creates a fluffy atmosphere that breezes by with warm composure, all the while showing a slightly different style for the band compared to their quicker, poppier sound. Other tracks like “Hot Tramps” and “Punks at a Disco Bar” demonstrate a hefty amount of influence from artists like The Replacements and Husker Du thanks to their desirably catchy riffs and memorable choruses. Though their influences might not be the most subtle, Beach Slang without a doubt bring their own personality to each song here.
As good as the record is, certain prior gripes about the band, such as the fuzzy production, aren’t exactly remedied here considering that Beach Slang haven’t altered too much towards their songwriting. The band doesn’t have an overly mature sound, something that one could probably infer based on the album title, but the band’s fantastically crafted simple, yet fun tracks certainly make up for it. The one exception here though would have to be the album’s closing track, “Warpaint.” In an album that’s filled with bright, energetic moments that build up to soaring climaxes, the final track seems to ponder for quite a bit without really reaching any new heights. Practically any other track on the record, such as the darker toned “Art Damage” or smoothly structured “Young Hearts,” could have been better options to close off the album with and end with an exclamation point rather than an ellipsis.
While Beach Slang don’t offer anything too complicated in their sophomore release, it’s hard to argue that the group is quite good at the style that they’ve carried so far in their career. When experiencing their music, one can’t help but hazily daydream of youthful summers. Beach Slang certainly live up to their name, as their work places its listeners in loving memories of fun and excitement. A Loud Bash of Teenage Feelings is a perfect example of a band acknowledging their strengths and getting even better as they progress. The sophomore slump was surely not an issue for Beach Slang, as their record is short, sweet, and absolutely beautiful.