Check out Philly's, Beach Slang; a band I've been playing the past couple months on Spinout. Anyone "Left of the Dial" is will appreciate this band. Anyone smart enough won't let this band slip by. It's time to feel alive with music again kids! 

photo: L J Hepp

Simply put, this is one of the best records of the year. Certainly for me it is. Music, lyric, sound and songs. It's all there. All the things that make a complete deal and a nice repeat, repeat, repeat and repeat listen.

After a long ass run with the great punk band Weston, it was time for guitarist/singer James Alex (Snyder) to do his own thing. When you listen to his new band Beach Slang's full length debut on Polyvinyl Records titled, The Things We Do To Find People Who Feel Like Us, you might think to yourself why the hell didn't this happen sooner? This record is too damn good. Agreed. Well it's out now so please when you're done here.. go get it.

 

polyvinyl rec./james alex

 

The sound screams Minneapolis and that's a great thing of course. No, not Prince. The other important stuff that city is known for; The Replacements and Husker Du. Beach Slang are punk at the end of the day but really a rock band and the end of the day ala the Gaslight Anthem. There's some fire to their melodic movement going on like Hot Water Music too at times. I feel like scrappy is the best word to describe these guys. Yeah, scrappy. Tough nosed, sticking up for itself, a wee bit pushy and kinda playful too. Like a bully wearing a scally cap on the Little Rascals. Scrappy! Like, 'this little dude is a scrappy bastard, but he's a good joe'.

The music is a beautiful blizzard of melody. Leave on the record from start to finish and there's no room to breathe. That's ok in this situation folks cause it's a good smothering. Layers and layers of sweet and sour. The voice of James Alex sounds like it's within an inch of losing it's life. The reality is it's truly more alive maybe than ever. The strained sounding voice is full of strength. Strength from surviving the pain of things he sings about. What's laced betwixt the sonic flurry, battered vocals and scrappyness are lyrics you'll never forget. James Alex is no kid in terms of years on this earth, but his words stick up for millions and millions of young folks and adults alike who are the confused, the wondering, questioning, investigating, adventuring, wanting and repenting. Learning.

I think James Alex has learned quite a bit and now with Beach Slang, I'd say he's pretty much got it all figured out.

 

Too young to die, too late to die young. I try to fight, but get high and give up. I ain't ever felt loved. The Punks are weird and these records feel tough. It's loud and wild, but I swear it feels soft. Yeah, it's always enough. It's always been enough. There's honesty in these neon lights. We're animals, drunk and alive. I swear right now I'm alright.

(Too Late to Die Young)