Beach Fossils – s/t

Rating: ★★★½☆

During SXSW we were treated to an amazing live show by Beach Fossils, and we finally have their self-titled debut to back up all that hype.  The record is full of surf-infused jangling guitars and simplistic drum beats, all which make this the perfect album to listen to while you’re being active around the house, or just looking for something great to jam out to with your friends.

As soon as “Sometimes” comes in through your stereo you’re introduced to the band’s sound.  Guitar chords jangle and snake their way through the song, while the drumming provides a bit of an extra kick to the song, giving it just an extra hint of spring.  Vocals wash over the song, while more vocals wash over the vocals.  “Youth” doesn’t do too much to distance itself from its predecessor, though you’ll find that the second track does have a bit more sway, mostly due to the pacing of the percussive element.

“Lazy Day” is the first song on the record that takes a different bent, although none of these songs sounds exactly the same.  Here, you’ll find a bit more of a hollow sounding vocal, which actually sounds perfect with the way that the guitar seems to ring in the foreground.  The echo-y vocal effect is used again on “Daydream,” though a slower delivery affects the listener in a different manner. You’ll have to listen to the battle between the feuding guitar lines, and its only then that the drums will make themselves evident, as they seem so low in the mix here that you almost miss them.

However much this album does seem to run together with its similar sounds, Beach Fossils do just enough to differentiate between the tracks.  “Window View” carries on the themes of observation and dreaming that are present throughout the record, but a slower pace entirely seems to actually have the listener looking out the window as this track plays in your house.  You can still feel the roots of the band’s sonic pallet here, but it’s just a bit left of that, giving the record a bit of room to breathe.  Then you go right back to the band’s bread and butter with “The Horse.”  It’s got a ringing guitar, a coated vocal, and a bit of a bounce to it.  It would be interesting to see where the band’s sound could go if they had the addition of legitimate percussion.  Not saying the drums don’t serve a purpose on Beach Fossils, but the creative notches could be turned up a bit, pushing the band’s sound even further.

Listening to Beach Fossils over and over again might get a little bit tiresome, but they’ve lived up to the promise they created this year with their live shows.  They’ve crafted an album full of charm and melody, presented in their own distinctive fashion, which inevitably will find their way into your daily listening rotation.  A few key ingredients missing keep this album from being incredible, but don’t hold that against Beach Fossils, as it’s a record worthy of your summer listening parties.


Download: Beach Fossils – Youth [MP3]

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