Review Summary: Who doesn't like summer music?
Summer in the Albany area of New York State is not exactly the most glamorous or ideal location to spend the season. The city’s population pales in comparison to its giant neighbor to the south, with little excitement to be had in the surrounding areas. The ocean is an afterthought unless an extensive bit of traveling is done, while major sporting events are unheard of as the small city lies upwards of two and a half hours north of illustrious New York City. The area resides along the extremely flawed and quite frankly, disgusting Hudson River (thank you General Electric), with little notable surrounding bodies of water. With that in place, you are more likely to find us blowing all of our money at the racetrack or binge drinking than spending time on the beach. When it comes down to it all however, there isn’t anything to complain about. It’s ****ing summer after all, and the Beach Fossils’ debut has arrived just in time for the long awaited season.
The Beach Fossils’ self-titled record is in every way a testament to the very season it has been released in. Everything from the album cover, to the aptly fitting song-titles (Vacation, Daydream, Lazy Day, etc…) support this statement wholeheartedly, but seem secondary when it comes to the album’s sound. Beach Fossils is
that type of record that puts you on the beach. Its lo-fi production and garage rock tendencies are not your typical hook-laden summer anthems; rather relying on a deliberately chilled atmosphere and minimal pop-appeal. Still, Beach Fossils
seems to press all the right buttons when it comes to crafting a summer record. The release is very much a 1960’s surf-rock throwback; the guitars appear to directly correlate the work of Bob Bogel and Don Wilson of the Ventures, which appears to be the most formidable influence. Rather than cranking up the metronome in association with the thundering waves however, the Beach Fossils seem intent on keeping a low-key ambiance. Lead singer Dustin Payseur sounds as though he has been drowned in reverb and distortion, further providing the record with more originality and character. Payseur’s vocals adamantly reflect the vibe of Beach Fossils
, as they so intricately meld with the tranquil instrumentation. It is the guitars however, which are most likely to leave the impression when it is all said and done; as this they have traded functions with the vocals.
Without a doubt the Beach Fossils have succeeded in crafting the very album that they set out to create, but are ultimately lacking in delivering an upper-echelon 2010 record. Beach Fossils
is so cohesive that it becomes problematical for the listener to pinpoint highlights, which in this case reveals a record that is too same-sounding for its own good. With that said, the Beach Fossils’ self-titled release is one of the more intriguing albums of this year; a go-to record for those fulfilling their seasonal cravings. Beach Fossils
is exactly the type of release which offers an escape route from the listener’s current location, bringing the beach to those of us that do not reside along it. So it’s time to grab that beverage, lawn chair, and ipod, and mellow out, man.