In the past (let’s say 4 years ago), I probably would’ve been a lot more reserved regarding a band like Lazy Beam. They’re a newer act I discovered on Bandcamp, just moments before starting this review in fact. Not proud of that fact or anything, but I just wanted to be totally transparent. But yeah, 4 years ago, I probably would’ve listened to Pasquinade on a whim and enjoyed it quite a bit. Maybe given it a 3.5 and moved on. I’m not sure what happened between then and now, but I just had the drive to praise it. This EP I found just browsing Bandcamp like I usually do.
Don’t get me wrong, it deserves the praise. It’s a 23-minute garage/indie punk freakout unlike any other I’ve heard this year. It’s a masterful use of the now-classic soft-loud rock sound we’ve all become accustomed to. The vocals are absolutely top-notch, snotty and shrill in all the proper ways. It’s incredible how effective they are at shifting from raucous noise punk to smooth indie rock track-to-track. Or in some cases, within the same song (“Chorus the Warhorse”).
Opener “IDK Mind Machine” was the biggest surprise, with its deceptively slow opening notes, quickly eviscerated by a haze of shouting and fuzzy guitar. “Ancient Stone” sees a classic punk throwback done right, performed with just the right amount of ghoulish camp. But as far as I’m concerned, the mixing and production are the real star of the show. Each track feels like the production was personalized to perfectly fit the mood of the song. The downside of this is that you could take two tracks off this EP at random, play them, and not even know they’re by the same band. When the rollicking “Germ Pool” leads into the indie surf rock track “Uncle Reginald,” it makes for a jarring transition. But when both are done as well as they are done, it’s hard to complain.
Would past me be disappointed? Seeing his future self drop everything to write a quick piece about an EP he just heard? Probably. But I’d like to think that even that guy would understand my fervency if he heard just a track off Lazy Beam’s Pasquinade. There’s an excitement that just shakes your bones when you hear a tune off this. So, to me from the past: shut up. Music like this is worth getting excited about.