Album Review: Beach Slang – A Loud Bash Of Teenage Feelings
A Loud Bash Of Teenage Feelings took on a performative aspect back in April when Beach Slang were playing Kilby Court, a small all-ages venue in Salt Lake City. Over the course of the show, tensions visibly building onstage, front-man James Alex repeatedly made comment that it was Beach Slang’s last show and, after imploding while trying to cover The Replacements’ Can’t Hardly Wait, bid farewell to the audience by saying ‘we were Beach Slang. Thank you. Natalie, give them [the audience] their money back’, throwing his guitar to the ground, and walking off. The show scheduled for the following night was cancelled, and the end looked like it had come and gone.
Fitting an on-again-off-again relationship of adolescence, the following day saw apologies made to fans – for both the previous evening’s show, and the cancelled date – and announcements were issued that Beach Slang were still a band, with a line spun about passion taking on a destructive expression. All well and good, except that in early July drummer, JP Flexnor, felt the need to issue a statement clarifying that he was no longer in the group. If life were a Hollywood production, this high drama – with the aid of a short montage – would result in a dynamic and compelling record. Well, this is the real world.
Written while touring in support of the group’s well-received début album, The Things We Do To Find The People Who Feel Like Us, and inspired by the stories of the band’s fans, there is plenty on paper that proves interesting, but from the start Alex’s breathy vocal style, and the band’s pop-punk-meets-indie vibe, fails to captivate. Future Mixtape For The Art Kids is a mid-tempo take on the 3 chord punk song trope, while Spin The Dial is reminiscent of There’s Nothing Left To Lose era Foo Fighters. A jangling, indie-rock, main riff on Young Hearts, and the decent lead riff on Art Damage show clear potential in Beach Slang’s writing and performing, yet none of it stands out from the crowd. Existing fans may end up considering themselves well serviced by this album, but its monochrome tones – when compared to their début release – seem to indicate a band treading water and lacking direction.