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Album Review
Beach Fossils

Beach Fossils
by Beach Fossils

Label
Captured Tracks
Rating

Review Date
24th November 2010
Reviewed by
Brannavan Gnanalingam

Beach Fossil’s music sounds so instantly familiar you’re not sure if you haven’t heard this all before. And while, it’s easy to make innumerable comparisons to this Brooklyn three-piece (e.g. Flying Nun, the slacker vibe of Pavement, or at least when Malkmus is feeling happy, or the recent summery trends typified by bands like Best Coast or the Drums) the debut album holds it own due to the quality of frontman Dustin Payseur’s song-writing, and the nailing of the mood. The album captures that languid feeling of summer: that comforting ennui of not having to do anything but that tension that things are soon going to end.

The band maintains such a ruthless modus operandi that it might be difficult to see how any future recordings will work, and it means the album could be criticised as being too samey. If it doesn’t get you first off, it’s probably not going to get you on repeated listens. It’s a simple set-up – basic drums, chiming guitar riffs, and Beach Boys-esque harmonies (the latter is obviously needed for any beach sounding band). The recording, like many of its contemporaries is lo-fi. However, Payseur’s approach is use this ‘lo-fi-ness’ to create a dream-like quality – the space in the recording created by this approach leaves plenty of room for the audience to coast along in, and works perfectly in the creation of the album’s mood.

But the songs carry it all. The standout track is album centrepiece ‘Daydream’ with its chiming guitar-work, and complementary rhythm work. However other highlights include the harmonies of ‘Golden Age’, the chirpy ‘Youth’, and the perfectly literal ‘Lazy Day’. The form of the songs allow for this drift: there are no discernible choruses and the music gives off this idea that it could just go on and on. It’s a gentle listen, a tight and precise album, and one which manages to make nice and comforting the idea of doing nothing at all.






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