with Lucky United
Monday, July 11th
We’ve been waiting for a while and finally it’s here. Over the past two years Beach Slang have proved themselves as a band who can write memorable songs, share that energy live and create a community of like-minded fans but they’ve always been missing one important element: An album. Luckily the band’s full-length The Things We Do To Find People Who Feel Like Us is the culmination of their collective career and picks up where their two critically acclaimed 7-inches, 2014’s Cheap Thrills On A Dead End Street and Who Would Ever Want Something So Broken? left off. The feelings of youth and vulnerability lie at the core of Beach Slang’s music, which is part punk, part pop and all catharsis. It references the ghosts of the Replacements but keeps one foot firmly rooted in the present. It’s fun and it’s serious. It’s sad but it isn’t. It’s Beach Slang. This Philadelphia-based act have built their hype the oldfashioned way, without any gimmicks or marketing teams, which makes sense when you consider that frontman and writer James Alex cut his teeth in the celebrated pop-punk act Weston while drummer JP Flexner, bassist Ed McNulty and guitarist Ruben Gallego also played in buzzed about projects such as Ex-Friends, Nona and Glocca Morra respectively. However there’s something indefinable about Beach Slang’s music that evokes the spirit of punk and juxtaposes it into something that’s as brutally honest as it is infectiously catchy. “By and large we subscribe to the idea of “if it isn’t broken, we’re not going to fix it’ so, yeah, we came at this recording in very much the same way,” Alex explains when asked how they approached the new songs from a sonic perspective. “I mean, we had more time to make this album, which is a cool thing, but time can also be a strange overthinker. Really, we’ve just always wanted to make our things sound like well recorded live records.” he continues, adding that the biggest difference this time around is the fact that engineer Dave Downham stepped up to co-produce this album and the fact that the band has finally found a full-time fourth member in guitarist Ruben Gallego. “Having both of them and their ears involved definitely helped a lot. I hardly listen back to things in the studio. For me, if it feels right, it’s a keeper. But, yeah, there’s something pretty alright about striking a balance.” Obviously there has been demand for a Beach Slang album since they exploded onto the scene, however the band was very careful not to rush out something before it was totally ready. “I write every day regardless of what else is happening. And what we wanted to make happen was as many live shows as possible. There’s an importance in that, a necessity. Rock & roll isn’t meant to exist on computer screens, you know?” Correspondingly the hundreds of shows that the band played between this album and the EP is all now automatically embedded in their recorded output. “I’m hardly concerned about our music being technically precise. I want to make sure it has soul, that it’s honest. The imperfections…that’s the really good stuff. We don’t ever want it to be perfect.” While The Things We Do To Find People Who Feel Like Us further expands on Beach Slang’s unique sound, it also showcases their sonic diversity. From the shoegazing sheen of “Noisy Heaven” to the downbeat dreaminess of “Porno Love” and refracted rage of “Young & Alive,” the album is a fuzzed-out masterpiece that takes influence from the past while staying rooted in the present. “Certainly we are going to sound like Beach Slang because, you know, we are but we didn’t want to make this record a xerox of anything we’ve done. That stuff has no guts, you know?,” Alex explains. “Even if you go from the first EP to the second EP there’s a nice, little arc and range of things happening. I think that’s even more true of this record.” “There’s a line in that first song ‘Throwaways’ that goes ‘there’s a time to bleed and a time just to fucking run”: I’ve sung that line so many times between developing and writing the thing and I still get that little-hair-standingup-on-my-arm moment every time I say it,” Alex says. It’s probably because the sentiments that he’s expressing have never been a choice. “Certainly there’s an element of nostalgia inherent in the writing because a good bit is reflective but it never lodges in the past; it’s more of a battle cry to now and where we’re going. Look, growing up and getting serious is wildly overrated stuff. Don’t listen to it. Jump around with a guitar. Play records loud. Never retire from being alive. Move on it.” That movement is alternately beautiful and crushing. It’s blazing and plodding, silent and deafening but always progressing and pushing toward that barely visible beacon in the horizon. The Things We Do To Find People Who Feel Like Us is just a giant step closer to our destination.
Lucky United is good old American, heartfelt punk rock n roll. Not slick and predictable but rather raw, hard and true. Jenn's voice which takes the best parts of Joan Jett and Courtney Love along with the superb songwriting creates a style that is emotion laid bare, bitter and sweet, toughness and vulnerability sprung upon us all at the same time. Lucky United is crafted to reveal and evoke emotions, trimmed of the excesses and poised to hit hard and strong into your guts and mind. The music is energetic and pushed with bravado but also stutters with a sensitive uncertainty. Lucky United fits nicely in rotation with Social Distortion, Tom Petty, Gaslight Anthem, Gameface, Loved Ones...
Potty Mouth are Western MA-based trio Abby Weems (guitar, lead vocals), Ally Einbinder (bass) and Victoria Mandanas (drums). Originating in 2011 from the hometown of guitar rock predecessors Dinosaur Jr., Potty Mouth emerged from a casual, "why not?" attitude when Einbinder, who met Mandanas at Smith college, set out to form a band with like-minded women who shared her interest in learning and growing together as musicians. Though no singer was chosen at the time of formation, Weems emerged as having a knack for melodies and lyric writing, and what started out as a casual pastime turned into a way of life; recording, making t-shirts, and planning tours soon came in natural succession.
One year after their formation, the band recorded a 12" vinyl EP, entitled 'Sun Damage,' released through three small, independently-run labels. 'Sun Damage' garnered the attention of Pitchfork, who called the six-song EP an "an impressive, no-filler debut," as well as local big-hitters The Boston Globe, who named Potty Mouth one of the top five indie-rock bands to watch in 2013.
In 2013, Potty Mouth signed with Brooklyn-based indie label Old Flame Records to release their debut full-length album, 'Hell Bent.' NPR music premiered the album, calling it "one of the best rock albums of the year." As Potty Mouth garnered national attention, the band began to tour more extensively, co-headlining their first full US tour with Perfect Pussy and Swearin' in summer 2014, as well as supporting artists like Waxahatchee and Juliana Hatfield.
On August 21, 2015, the band debuted a five-song self-titled EP under their own imprint, Planet Whatever Records. Produced by John Goodmanson (Sleater-Kinney, Blonde Redhead, Bikini Kill) at London Bridge Studios in Seattle, the new EP shows off a new level of both songwriting and production for the trio. Refreshingly candid, singer-guitarist Abby Weems weaves sarcasm and melancholia into a passionate performance held together by drummer Victoria Mandanas and bassist Ally Einbinder's solid foundation. The crisper direction emphasizes the work the triad has put in since 2013's 'Hell Bent,' with more vocal harmonies and bigger production, recalling the sounds of influences like Veruca Salt and Nirvana.