Dirty Beaches
Badlands


4.0
excellent

Review

by Sam Feldman's Rating USER (66 Reviews)
September 5th, 2011 | 11 replies


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist


I’ve always wanted to visit the Southwest; the barren deserts in between worn-down old towns, watching abandoned people drive on those straight roads that go on forever. It always seemed like a place to find yourself, or at least a good place to start looking. Yeah, Vegas is civilized, but what about on the outskirts? Everything is sparse, bare, organic. It’s a far cry from the bustling suffocation of New York and that’s perhaps why Alex Zhang Hungtai’s Badlands appeals to me so much. There ain’t no doubt in my mind that I’m lost here in 2011, not sure where to go if there even is a place. I believe Hungtai knows what I am talking about, or at least feels long gone as well.

Badlands is a last-call for help: I can picture Hungtai wandering through the desert aimlessly, on his last breaths, just looking for one final purpose. He ends up falling into a deep canyon, so far down that light is barely able to make an entrance. He cries for aid, tired and unable to find hope. But there is no help, there is no one for hundreds of miles in any direction. So he sits, ponders on what choices there are left to make, and decides the only way to spend his final hours on this desolate planet is to put on his old favorite records and let the music take its course. Badlands is like taking your favorite music (in this case, Hungtai’s is rockabilly) and dissolving it to its fundamental roots, and then smashing the foundation with a sledgehammer. Badlands is psychotic; not structurally, but Hungtai takes a rather personable genre of music and injects it with 500 mg of benzodiazepine, collapsing any welcoming nature rockabilly might have and instead creating a lonely ode to the past.

It’s unbelievably refreshing, to not only hear someone as destroyed and lost as I am, but to feel it in a way that’s just not around anymore. It takes courage to record this today, a lo-fi, gloomy, 50’s style retro affair that never loses focus and never wavers. Plus it flat out rocks (just listen to those desperate screams of “sweet 17!” at the end of the aforementioned track). There’s no contemporary deviation from the formula, Dirty Beaches are dead-set on being completely uncompromising.



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user ratings (63)
Chart.
3.6
great
other reviews of this album
danielsfrebirth (4)
Alex Zhang Hungtai will run you off the speedway and watch you writhe in flames in the abyss below...

Conrad Tao EMERITUS (3.5)
Dirty Beaches' debut possesses a very fluid sense of time and place, and it's all the better for it....


Comments:Add a Comment 
MisterTornado
Contributing Reviewer
September 5th 2011


4507 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great album. The whole lost in the desert vibe you seemed to have gotten from it is pretty interesting, never really looked at it from that perspective.

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
September 5th 2011


15743 Comments


very cool album

Rev
September 5th 2011


9441 Comments


you don't want to visit the southwest


sucks ass

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
September 5th 2011


17945 Comments


haha the BARON DESERTS

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
September 5th 2011


17945 Comments


oh man you don't get it

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
September 5th 2011


17945 Comments


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baron

Eclecticist
September 5th 2011


3863 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Pos'd, good review, I happen to love this EP.

Eclecticist
September 6th 2011


3863 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

True Blue is up there on the top 25 songs of the year.

alachlahol
September 6th 2011


7515 Comments


this album would be better if i was strung out on dope

alachlahol
September 6th 2011


7515 Comments


chamebered did you listen to this with 200 mgs of lithium in your pocket

iFghtffyrdmns
September 6th 2011


7047 Comments


cool review, you made this sounds more awesome than it probably is but I'm not gonna check it anyway cause I don't feel like it.

but y u so sad n lost :[
play hide n seek with yrself!



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