I have started writing this so many times that it’s not funny. Every time I got about halfway through and just felt like something was missing. This morning I figured out what that something was and can finally write about A Loud Bash Of Teenage Feelings. Beach Slang is more than just some kids who, obviously and rightfully, worship The Replacements. You can hear their admiration in every note that they play. It’s not a hard stretch to imagine Tommy Stinson playing any their songs. That alone could relegate a band to the back of the line, for me, these kids have so much more going for them. Their constant homage to their heroes gets talked about a lot but in this writer’s humble opinion, that’s entirely secondary to why I have come to love them.
The radio is loud and wild
And I’m too drunk to spin the dial
Bathe my bones in alcohol
So I don’t have to think at all
– Spin The Dial
Beach Slang is, for all intents and purposes, a band that’s writing coming of age songs. The hopeful nihilism that abounds in these songs is something that I hope proves to be timeless. While there is always coming of age music rife with rebellion, fear, naivete, anger, and all of the rest of the emotions that come with what we know as growing up. Most of this music is at best contrite and at work complete shit. Over the years there have been a few standout records that could be considered coming of age music that stay with me and today, driving to work, I finally figured out why. These records don’t take me back to when I was an angry young man trying to figure things out and they don’t make me feel nostalgic. To put it simply they can’t do that because I’m a 44 year old man who still hasn’t figured all this shit out. I live in a world that’s going crazy, work at a job where I feel like I’m getting one over on everyone most of the time, I have kids and deal with all the fear and emotions that go along with that, and I have no fucking clue what I’m doing. I have completely failed at coming of age!
I still taste you in the ash
Of every cigarette you kill
Have they dragged you back to life?
If not yet
They never will
– Wasted Daze Of Youth
A Loud Bash Of Teenage Feelings, much like The Things We Do To Find People That Feel Like Us, doesn’t have a single track that I don’t want to scream along with, even when that wouldn’t be appropriate. The self sacrificing, visceral lyrics that James Alex pens reach something inside of me that I often fear will come to light. I don’t want anyone to know that I’m still trying to figure all of this out, especially not at my age, but I’ll be damned if Beach Slang doesn’t completely make me want to make a t-shirt that boldly proclaims “I don’t fucking know what I’m doing and neither do you”. To be honest I couldn’t even identify that feeling until today even though these kids aren’t the only ones who bring it out in me.
We’re not lost, we are dying in style
We’re not fucked, we are fucking alive
I hope I never die
– Future Mix Tape For The Art Kids
The thing about Beach Slang is that they manage to completely obliterate age boundaries in their audience. I’ve watched just about every age group I can think of, well with my old ass at the top, get in to these kids. There is something here that speaks to everyone I’ve seen listen to Beach Slang and while a good number of the bands I write about have some of that going for them, I think it’s an order of magnitude more pronounced here. If I could identify the recipe that’s producing this effect I’d be rich overnight. I have no idea what’s all coming together to make these guys what they are but they are absolutely Essential Listening. I figure much of this review is superfluous in that everyone reading this has probably already heard and become addicted to Beach Slang but in the hopes of reaching someone that is living under a rock I wrote it all anyway!