The Things We Do To Find People Who Feel Like Us
The Things We Do To Find People Who Feel Like Us would be a pretty on-the-nose title for many records, but it’s especially literal for Beach Slang’s full-length debut, a record that should top the list of those things we do.
The Philly band’s debut LP is a fast and loose collection of bite-sized anthemic punk songs, in the Japandroids vein. Or, more accurately, Japandroids are the relatively guarded and younger version of Beach Slang. Though this is the Philly band’s first LP, it’s hardly the first foray for any of these musicians, and the decades of making music must have helped encourage them to make a record as baldly heartfelt as this.
The Things We Do is bound to set off struggles between the hearts and heads of those who hear it. Overwhelming sincerity tends to trigger a “this is uncool” response in the brain, but give this record the 27 minutes it demands and it could have your heart on the hook.
Some of the songs are too similar to distinguish without a few attentive listens, so the first impression “The Things We Do Makes” is simply a feeling. Power chords and shout-along choruses start to sound the same, but when they’re good, they’re nearly irresistible. This is the kind of music that does not let you stand still. It’s made for blasting from cars at night, or savoring in a beer-soaked club and not being embarrassed about any of it.
There’s nothing subtle in “The night is alive / It’s loud and I’m drunk” or “I try to use my brain / But every time I try, my heart gets in the way,” and Beach Slang doesn’t care. Being honest is the best way to find people who feel like you.
—Ashley Dean, HeyReverb.com
It’s Great to be Alive!
Seeking to add its own exclamation point to the canon of iconic live albums, Athens, Ga.’s, Drive-By Truckers usher forth It’s Great to be Alive!. Disregarding the disingenuous duality of the live thing, It’s Great to be Alive! is a 35-song compendium recorded during a three-night stand at San Francisco’s Fillmore Auditorium in November 2014. Packaged and sequenced as “a sort of ultimate live DBT collection,” anyone who has attended a DBT show in the last decade will immediately feel at home.
—Eric Risch, PopMatters.com
A Sort of Homecoming
A Sort of Homecoming is a must-have record not only for fans of Anathema, but for anyone looking for sublime songwriting, warm yet haunting instrumentation and elegant singing. Yes, its stripped-down approach means that many of the nuances of the official arrangements aren’t there, but it’s precisely this sense of delicate bareness that makes the sequence so charming.
—Jordan Blum, PopMatters.com
Other key releases:
Olafur Arnalds and Nils Frahm, Collaborative Works
Car Seat Headrest, Teens of Style
The Chills, Silver Bullets
EL VY, Return to the Moon
GEMS, Kill the One You Love
Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, It’s a Holiday Soul Party
Roots Manuva, Bleeds
Wolf Eyes, I Am a Problem: Mind in Pieces
Young Galaxy, Falsework