Review Summary: Liverpool psych surf revivalists Beach Skulls come up with a slow burning scorcher.
It takes a great sense of imagination and getting yourself truly immersed in your inspirations to achieve something Beach Skulls have done on their sophomore album Las Dunas. Sure, the trio do come from Liverpool, itself located on the coast somewhere in the northern parts of England, but that is certainly quite a bit further away from either the surfing coasts of California, Hawaii or Australia for that matter, or the dusty, sandy clime of Texas, because that is where Ry Viera, Jordan Finney and Dan West, get their musical inspiration from.
Las Dunas, or the dunes, the albums name should be a bit of a giveaway. Moving a few steps further for the mostly true surf Dick Dale style of their initial album Slow Grind, they move a bit further into the other forms of chiming guitars and echoing vocals, giving their surfing tones more of a psychedelic, fuzz-drenched touches. These skulls bring their tie-dyed shirts and carefully rolled acid-spiced sugar cubes to the beach, taking us all to the “Nuggets”/ Texas garage, The Count Five, 13th Floor Elevators for sure, or making more current compadres to Allah-La’s.
Whether it is the spiky, driving fuzz tones and changes of “Come Undone” or the more ‘slow grind’ of the “Sacred Citrus” or “Soma Holiday”, Beach Skulls clear their mind images of the gloomy skies over the Liverpool harbour and take us all to those sandy beaches and dusty, half-empty Texas saloons all acid shaded in different psych colours.
The band also make an effort to diversify their lyrical themes, moving from ‘all love songs’ of their first album, going a bit more philosophical, not only about the now omnipresent social media themes but also a bit more thought-provoking ideas of whether life is just passing us all by.
Really original" No, not really, but then, when it is played this well, with the infusion of a bit more imagination you get some quite listenable results like the Beach Skulls came up with on Las Dunas.