Today’s crop of twentysomethings’ obsession with reminiscing over the ‘80s and ‘90s really is something to behold, isn’t it? It seems as if every day, more and more, we find ourselves scrolling an endless procession of Buzzfeed quizzes and clickbait nonsense on our Facebook feeds, capitalizing on the nostalgic drive that only ‘80s and ‘90s kids will understand. However, if there’s one thing that rings true for millennials that had the joy of growing up during that period, and seeing it through the rose-colored glasses of childhood, is that a select few were able to translate their wide-eyed excitement and wistful charm into something truly genuine.
James Alex, a product of 1975, finds himself just on the precipice of Generation Y, and truly realizing his full potential as the vocalist/guitarist for indie-rock quartet Beach Slang. Though the band is only two years old, the buzz they’ve developed since releasing their pair of stellar EPs is nothing short of staggering. After spending the past year playing with the likes of Cursive, the Bouncing Souls and the Starting Line, and signing with indie label Polyvinyl, Alex & Co. (bassist Ed McNulty, guitarist Ruben Gallego and drummer JP Flexner) have really come into their own on the band’s debut LP The Things We Do to Find People Who Feel Like Us—as amiable, sincere and poetic a record you’re likely to find in the world of indie rock this year.
As implied earlier, Beach Slang’s sound is equal parts casual throwback to the sounds of rollicking ‘80s and ‘90s pop-rock acts like the Replacements, the Cure and the Goo Goo Dolls, and welcome influence from the cream of the crop of today’s best acts. In the album’s top-tier “Bad Art & Weirdo Ideas” and “I Break Guitars,” the youthful punch of the guitars mesh extremely well with Alex’s raspy, punk-heavy vocal work. However, that doesn’t mean they overshadow the album’s softer moments, as tracks like “Too Late To Die Young” and “Porno Love” are still able to leave a lasting impression.
Though the album suffers some modest slumps (the too-familiar guitar tones from their first EPs and a lack of variety at times), it shouldn’t stop you from giving The Things We Do To Find People Who Feel Like Us your time and attention. Beach Slang has already proven themselves to be a band you’ll not only vastly enjoy your time listening to, but also a band with an earnest, genuine nature that radiates through their music—you’ll hope for both their immediate and long-term success because of it. It’s as timeless and sincere an album as their previous material suggests, with vast replayability and a enjoyable charm that ceases to end.