Driving, propulsive, searing: all words that are often thrown around to talk about punk, and all words that could adequately describe what Beach Slang is doing, except they don’t really do it all justice. Of course, the Philadelphia-based band is reminiscent of dozens of their forebears, but they remind me most of Against Me!, in some middle ground between their mid-career output and this year’s transcendent baptism-via-music Transgender Dysphoria Blues. The quasi-supergroup, made up of members from smaller Pennsylvania bands, came onto the scene earlier this year with their debut EP Who Would Ever Want Anything So Broken? and they’re returning with a second EP, Cheap Thrills On A Dead End Street, which refines their sound without adjusting the formula too much and feels very much a part of what has come before. Across the handful of songs they’ve released, there are a lot of repeating elements: social anxiety, drug use to numb yourself, friendship, accidents, loneliness, building a wall of punk rock posturing to get by. None of these sentiments are new in the community, which was built around a shared sense of otherness, but they are reimagined with beautifully colored verve. “All Fuzzed Out” is anthemic and tight-knit, an alternating pattern of hot and cold. Compared with lead single “American Girls And French Kisses,” it’s more sensitive and unguarded — “If there is heaven, I have found it with you.” So what’s it all about? A tale of romance, of falling on your face and picking yourself up again? Of taking the proverbial and clichéd leap of faith and maybe even landing somewhere comfortable? Yeah, it’s all of that. But for as much as Beach Slang relies on tropes, they do so with a sparkling panache that makes it all worthwhile. Listen below.
09/09 Ottawa, ON @ Mavericks w/ Modern Baseball, I Am The Avalanche
09/10 Toronto, ON @ Hard Luck Bar w/ Modern Baseball, I Am The Avalanche
09/11 Detroit, MI @ The Shelter w/ Modern Baseball, I Am The Avalanche
09/12 Chicago, IL @ Beat Kitchen
10/14 Brooklyn, NY @ Saint Vitus w/ Cheap Girls
10/31-11/02 Gainesville, FL @ The Fest
Beach Slang’s Cheap Thrills On A Dead End Street EP comes out 9/30 digitally and 10/28 on vinyl via Tiny Engines.