Beach Fossils
Clash the Truth


3.7
great

Review

by Cam EMERITUS
February 17th, 2013 | 22 replies


Release Date: 02/19/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: In which Dustin Payseur and co. emerge after three long years

Right as I was about to listen to Beach Fossils’ Clash the Truth for the first time, after having been told that it was worth a listen from a friend, a realization suddenly hit me: I know this band. I have heard (of) Beach Fossils before. Clash the Truth wasn’t from this obscure thing, but from a band that I had spent minutes of my life listening to. I remembered a picture, of something that looked like it could be a white fence or vinyl siding, and suddenly I had to put Clash the Truth to the side for a second while I searched the internet, trying to unearth Beach Fossils’ debut. And then there it was: a lo-fi artifact dating all the way back to 2010, a record I was sure I heard before, but remembered absolutely nothing about.

Since that day, I’ve listened to the first Beach Fossils record once and Clash the Truth countless times. I’m not exactly sure what Beach Fossils ringleader Dustin Payseur has been doing for the past three years, or why Clash the Truth took so long to finally be released, but the maturation that Payseur’s songwriting abilities has gone through is incredibly notable. Also notable: no longer is Beach Fossils a one-man project, and no longer can they be condescendingly dismissed as “summer music”, as they were back in 2010. This is now a full-bodied band, one that isn’t as easily dismissible or pigeonhole-able.

Payseur and co. haven’t deviated much from the surf-meets-garage-rock aesthetic of Beach Fossils, but these new batch of songs are significantly more diverse and emotionally wrought than the Fossils’ previous stuff. The title track is a cavernous and wide-open song, beginning with some spidery guitar work and a galvanic melody, eventually culminating in Payseur chanting simple truths over and over again: “free…life…clash…truth.” And so on. Instantly, the listener is brought to realize how clean and spacious everything sounds: no longer is Payseur relegating himself to the claustrophobic trappings of the four-track recorder, of lo-fi production. By placing “Clash the Truth” at the top of his new album’s tracklist, Payseur is defining this new incarnation of his band, one of considerable force and ambition.

From there, we segue into songs like “Generational Synthetic” and “Taking Off”, which are demure and melancholic tracks not unlike “Clash the Truth”, being equally spacious and catchy. Payseur’s sense of melody has improved considerably, assisted by co-songwriter Tommy Davidson: there isn’t a full song on here that isn’t at least a little hummable, that doesn’t have some possibility of getting ingrained in your brain. The acoustic stylings of “Sleep Apnea” and the Kazu Makino-assisted (of Blonde Redhead fame) “In Vertigo” add some diversity, as do a pair of minute-long drone tracks. Makino’s breathy and restrained delivery on “In Vertigo” compliments the fuzzy and reverb-drenched production, creating a strangely beautiful combination that doubles as one of the best songs on the album.

Clash the Truth is noticeably more melancholic and depressing than Beach Fossils. Considering how adept Payseur is at writing noisey and catchy songs that drift along at a breezily mid-tempo pace, the shoe seems to fit; however, Payseur’s lyrics unfortunately don’t do his compositions justice at times. At best, his lyrics are merely serviceable; at worst, they reach cringe-worthy levels of angst and faux-depression. Also, the three instrumental tracks seem out-of-place and needless, adding some fat to an otherwise trim album. Yet it’s testament to Clash the Truth’s other positives that these occasional lapses barely affected my enjoyment of his album in the slightest: the melancholic mood is too pervasive and irresistible, the production is too great, and the melodies are too catchy for me to get all that upset with the album's few misgivings. In all, Catch the Truth is a major step forward for Beach Fossils, and it’s certainly an album that I’m not going to forget about so easily, if ever at all.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
ridingchillwaves
February 16th 2013


93 Comments


self-titled was way rad. I'll get on this.

klap
Staff Reviewer
February 17th 2013


10598 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

cool beans. did you hear heavenly beat last year?

Digging: Charli XCX - Sucker

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
February 17th 2013


24110 Comments


pigeonhole-able

nice

Digging: Mitski - bury me at makeout creek

FelixCulpa
February 17th 2013


1240 Comments


Ohh kazu makino featuring on another track which sounds like it's the best song on the record (Eclipse/Blue), nice.

alachlahol
February 17th 2013


7515 Comments


gonna believe you when you say this is better than the s/t

joshuatree
Emeritus
February 17th 2013


3742 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

haven't heard heavenly beat yet but i did hear diiv, which i think is probably the best known of the beach fossils-affiliated solo projects

alachlahol
February 17th 2013


7515 Comments


you get a promo for this or is there a stream somewhere i must listen soon

joshuatree
Emeritus
February 17th 2013


3742 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

http://stereogum.com/1258771/stream-beach-fossils-clash-the-truth/album-stream/

also it comes out in two days

YankeeDudel
February 17th 2013


9313 Comments


sounds kinda kew

Digging: Land Of Kush - Against The Day

klap
Staff Reviewer
February 17th 2013


10598 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

everyone heard diiv, wasn't too big of a fan tho. heavenly beat is more my speed (gay electro pop)

MalleusMaleficarum
February 17th 2013


14408 Comments


has this band changed their sound at all since the debut

PorkchopExpress
February 17th 2013


389 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"Sleep Apnea" is an awesome song. Reminds me of a leftover from the latest Real Estate album, which is a good thing.

nononsense
February 17th 2013


3431 Comments


Really enjoyed some of this.

MisterTornado
Contributing Reviewer
February 17th 2013


4507 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

p good wish band wasn't boring dough

BigPleb
February 18th 2013


38165 Comments


That album art is r cool

Digging: Arc Iris - Arc Iris

alachlahol
February 18th 2013


7515 Comments


p good wish band wasn't boring dough


correct band is still boring

SinkToTheBeets
February 18th 2013


68 Comments


their drummer stayed at my house once. dude was kind of a tool.

DeafMetal
February 19th 2013


8587 Comments


can't wait to jam this band rules all day

Funeralopolis
February 21st 2013


11898 Comments


band has 'beach' in name must be dreamy indie ding dong music

Digging: Owen Pallett - In Conflict

Monheim
February 26th 2013


250 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Better than I thought it'd be



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