Album Review: Beach Slang – The Deadbeat Bang Of Heartbreak City
Beach Slang’s first two albums were a romantic patchwork of melody-soaked 1980s power-pop and punk joie de vivre, but their recent Quiet Slang recordings have dulled the spark somewhat with forgettable lullaby retreads. Fortunately, on The Deadbeat Bang Of Heartbreak City, Slanger-in-chief James Alex – who’s enlisted the Replacements’ Tommy Stinson on bass – firmly reignites his band’s candle.
Kicking Over Bottles finds the band revelling in volatility and saxophones, while between fuzzier moments Nobody Say Nothing sees James lay his absent father to rest with hushed venom. ‘Your blood is filthy, it’s stuck inside my skin,’ he rasps, yet the song’s brushed acoustic guitar and cello merge into Nowhere Bus, where he finds himself unsure of the example he’s setting to his own children.
As ever, the line between sincerity and mawkishness is down to the ear of the beholder, but maturity is creeping into Beach Slang’s songs of eternal punk rock youth, and here their bleeding heart is in the right place.