James Alex as been through a lot of shit in a short amount of time with his band Beach Slang, both good and bad.
The pressure of being 1/4 of Beach Slang (now 1/3) almost had him call it quits earlier this year, but thanks to a fan who caught him after a show that night before he disappeared, he reconsidered.
Let’s face it, being in your 40s and having your band blow up the way Beach Slang did in such a short amount of time can not be easy. For what it is worth, I am glad Alex did not throw the towel in yet.
With that said, Beach Slang just released their followup to 2015’s The Things We Do To Find People Who Feel Like Us. The band actually wrote most of this sophomore release while touring. That right there is dedication if you ask me.
A Loud Bash of Teenage Feelings, on Polyvinyl Records, is incredible. It’s an encompass of Jawbreaker and The Replacements with plentyof held back angst and passion to produce an album worthy of multiple listens.
“Play it loud, play it fast. Play me something that will always last” starts off on “Future Mixtape for the Arts Kids.” This track is a perpetual anthem for anyone who uses music as a crutch to get through life.
“Atom Bomb” followed with plenty of fuzz and rock to keep anyone who listens entertained. This fast-paced track may have clocked in at less than 2 minutes long, but its effects lasted much longer. “Spin the Dial” was full of hooks and solos with Alex laying out some lyrics that sounded more personal.
“Punks In a Disco Bar” was perfectly contained in that the band sounded so together yet not overly produced. This was one of the first singles off the new release and it’s no wonder why they chose it, the song rules.
“You’re my favorite weirdo” is sang during “Wasted Daze of Youth”, a love track of sorts that seemingly repeated many phrases I have said out loud when I felt smitten. The hopeless swooning and the confessions combined lyrically was the best thing about this song.
The complementing “The Perfect High” focused on the best correlation between two individuals while carrying a 90s musical feel. I really enjoyed this track a lot, especially the bass line throughout. I almost felt like a teen again listening to this track.
Album closer “Warpaint” was an inciting jam that slowly built up a credence with Alex ending the track “don’t be afraid to want to be alive.” These are the kinds of songs I clung on to as a lost juvenile – songs that made me feel better about my situation Hell, there are some days I can still use the encouragement.
I’ve heard some banter recently from folk based on the album’s title alone that maybe Alex has been writing music that he is a little too old for, but I have to disagree. He is writing for the all-ages fan who is looking for a release with a comparable ideal. Alex is the voice for many and Beach Slang certainly carries the talent to do so. The band has proven this on A Loud Bash of Teenage Feelings and I’m positive the fans will confirm this.
My only complaint with this album is that it is only 29 minutes long and the selfish me wanted to hear double that. I won’t lie, this is the best album I have listened to so far this year.
Beach Slang is playing the Grog Shop next month in Cleveland with Bleached. This is a show to NOT miss.