I don’t think any website has gushed more over BEACH FOSSILS than we have. Look at their review. That 95 definitely looks huge in the face of Pitchfork’s 78. That said, we wouldn’t just blindly follow them off a cliff. But the self-titled debut truly is a monster. It’s the first step into the mind of brainchild Dustin Payseur, a mind we continuously hope to hear more from. On the debut album, Payseur’s guitar lines are constructed in stacks, and the gameplay between the different lines makes for one of the best albums of the year. No doubt about it. It’s also one of the best guitar albums we’ve heard in a long time.
The number of should-be hits on that thing is astonishing: Daydream, Golden Age, Sometimes, The Horse, Youth, Vacation and Wide Awake. Wide Awake is our secret favorite song this year. The guitar lines in that song are absolutely stunning; so gorgeous. I can’t conjure enough adjectives to adequately describe the beauty. And the drums are perfect. It’s a sullen one, but it’s so good, just so goddang good. That entire album is cut from the same lo-fi beach blanket cloth, but it’s cut so fine you hardly recognize it’s from 2010. So true to the day, it allows for the band to name itself BEACH FOSSILS without experiencing any ridicule, because this really is a sound fossilized in 1960s beach parties.
BEACH FOSSILS is now following up the debut with a new 7″ on Captured Tracks, the same label that put out their LP. The 7″ features two new songs: Face it and Distance. The first thing you notice is that the production quality is just a little cleaner on one of these new tracks. On Face it, Payseur’s voice seems to have emerged from the vocalist’s trademark distortion. It sounds good and it’s probably more accessible now, so good for them. Actually, it sounds so different it may not even be Payseur singing. And they’ve also got a girl manning the background vocals here, which we never saw on the LP.
What hasn’t changed is Payseur’s guitar line craft, which he is dominating right now. The lines throughout this song are good. And the drums haven’t been expanded at all. Face it sounds like the rest of the band’s catalogue, with a cleaner, crisper production quality. Distance offers a sound more similar to the debut, but it’s a little different. With this one we actually do find Payseur’s voice under that thick trademark haze. The guitar line’s are good, as always, and at one point it almost sounds like a synth comes into the fray. May have been a guitar with some weird effect, but if that’s a synth, that’s a first for BEACH FOSSILS. The 7″ vinyl comes out on October 12 via Captured Tracks, but the MP3s will be available a week early.
BEACH FOSSILS: Face it
BEACH FOSSILS: Distance