Beach Fossils Beach FossilsBeach Fossils
As if it had all been a dream, the memory of Beach Fossils seems like a band dissolved in the space-time continuum that leaves us, like a dizzying hangover, a 23-year-old guy whose mother looks like an effeminate Neil Young, and whose father has a group called The Pompous Fuckheads (what a name). A boy, Dustin Payseur, who from his room in Bushwick, Brooklyn, fell in love with the musical atmosphere there (just looking at the photo of a street in Bushwick you understand because you can sense it, and to be honest, there’s no Zara or Ikea in sight, and you have to admit that seeing one of those can erase anyone’s erotic-artistic thoughts). The album at hand, the band’s recording debut, is a real tribute to the motto that anything is possible: Payseur was completely devastated and about to go far away from Bushwick, when, for something to do and because he had nothing to lose, he sent a demo of his group (him) that he had recorded in his bedroom, and someone took an interest. (A little aside: doesn’t this sound like the wet dream of any young man who wants to become a musician?) The company, Captured Tracks, which is home to artists like Wild Nothing and Dum Dum Girls, told him that what he was doing was good, and gave him an opportunity. And here we have it, a collection of songs that at times seem designed to take our minds back to a fictitious summer where the beachside bars serve large, cheap rations of food, there are girls surfing in bikinis, and a couple of loudspeakers are playing music that isn’t the cheap spontaneous dance music that we all know too well, but rather the traditional happy tune of oily guitars and past-perfect voices.
Listening to the album, we hear a retro air, with nice guitars and blurry voices ( “Sometimes”), that will be the general theme of a record with a very simple plot. Listen to it all at once, and it goes to your head like a glass of sangria. It has spark and it’s catchy (the melody of “Daydream”), wrapping itself in a sonic wall of reverbs (very beach-like, I might add) on “Golden Age” and “Lazy Day”, and it oozes happiness and optimism on “Vacation” (where it seems that Payseur is singing reluctantly, but you have to be careful with this nuance, in reality he is singing with carefree happiness) and on “Youth”, where a lot of space is left for solos that are, however, really repetitions of chords that make the album more digestive. Like the early The Clientele, Best Coast or Real Estate, Beach Fossils palm odes to happiness off on us by way of saturated voices and the reverbs I already mentioned, the echoes of which only intensify the mellowness of the sound, as if we were blowing a bubble of chewing gum. In the case of the Beach Fossils, we even see them abandon themselves to surf attempts ( “Twelve Roses” is Dick Dale in slow motion), retro (inevitable in “Horse”), ambiental (in “Gathering”) and even dream images (imagine having the video of a summer car trip recorded. Turn down the sound and put on “Window View” in the background. Does it work or not?).
This exercise in jangling guitar pop that is also like The Drums but without the post punk essence may seem imitative, repetitive, or worn-out as far as sound goes, but in spite of all of this, people, we are looking at something real, at least something very enjoyable, unceremonious, and completely absorbable (quick-action, like kitchen wipes). Sometimes it’s necessary.
Beach Fossils - Youth