Philly punks Beach Slang are usually confrontational with a soft underbelly — despite the band’s blown-out sound, there’s a tangible sensitivity to their lyrics. Regardless, none of Beach Slang’s prior releases are quite as willingly vulnerable or instrumentally naked as “Too Late To Die Young.” James Snyder’s rasp sounds all the more defined as he whispers the opening verse over a bare-boned acoustic guitar, “Too young to die/ Too late to die young.” It’s a careful scrutinization of existence, a worried rumination. Something about Snyder’s transition from yowling frontman to understated philosopher reminds me a bit of the Replacements’ 1987 song “Skyway.” The two don’t necessarily sound all that similar, but Snyder knows how to quiet down just as well as Paul Westerberg. “Too Late To Die Young” is included on a Lame-O Records benefit compilation titled Strength In Weakness, with all of the proceeds going to the Philadelphia branch of United Cerebral Palsy. Listen to Beach Slang’s contribution below.
Strength In Weakness is out 2/3 via Lame-O Records. You can pre-order it on Bandcamp.