As of late, it has been difficult to find a punk or emo band whose music isn’t rooted in the thematic overtone of anxiety and depression. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying this is a bad thing – I still shelled out $21 just last month for the incredible new LP by The Wonder Years – all I am saying is a band like Beach Slang is refreshing to listen to both sonically and lyrically. After two genuinely raucous EPs in 2014, The Things We Do to Find People Who Feel Like Us is the debut full length by the Philadelphia quintet and pretty closely follows in the footsteps in its predecessors in its themes and sounds.
I disregarded the stream of The Things We Do… when it hit the internet a week before the record’s release because I had pre-ordered the LP from my local record store and wanted to hear it for the first time on wax instead of through a potentially poor quality audio rip. Immediately upon opening the packaging, I knew waiting was the right decision. After the thank-you’s on the first couple of pages of the liner notes, there is plain white page that says “preface:”
Our vans crashed into a parking lot smeared with young punks and forgotten makeouts. I thought of you. We shotgunned cheap beer and snarled like Vikings – the blurriness of being alive.
The architecture feels soft. The girls move like pastry. And there is still value in flowers.
At a pub with no proper name, we listened to old men sing French love songs with all their memory. It made the room sadder, stiller. It made it honest. I grabbed a napkin and scribbled “The things we do to find people who feel like us.”
And felt at home even though I was so far from it.
This is closely followed by a page of dedication that simply states “For us – all of us.”
If you couldn’t already tell, the first thing that made Beach Slang stand out to me is the sincerity in the writing of frontman James Alex. However, there isn’t a divide between the honesty of the music and the nature of band-to-fan interaction. It continues into the realm of social media, with a majority of posts on the band’s Facebook and Instagram accounts, as well as their mailing list, thanking fans for the support that they continue to show. And there is something about the way that James Alex writes these posts that lets you know that he really wants his words to emphasize how much he appreciates his fans.
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My dear friend Charlie got the most beautiful, humbling @thefestfl souvenir this year. She drew this thing and then made it permanent. And my whole heart went blushed and electric. Look, I've said it before and will continue to with very equal sincerity: It will never be lost on me how fucking cool and humbling and perfect this is. Thank you, @carleylowe & @anthemtattoo, so much <3 #punkorlust #anthemtattoo #polyvinyl #bigscarymonsters #cookingvinyl #moorworks #noreason #grandstandhq #tinyengines #deadbrokerekerds #fest14 #beachslang
The Things We Do To Find People that Feel Like Us is a collection of songs about living instead of dying; loving instead of hating; and rock and roll being more of a way of life than just a hobby. It is raw, it is genuine, it is beautiful. Upon the first listen, it might be hard to decipher some of the record’s lyrics. That said, I was able to pick out a line that defined the rest of the the album on ‘I Break Guitars,’ the record’s sixth track: “If rock and roll is dangerous, how come I feel so safe in it?”
I apologize for not writing much about the actual music… I just think that a band like Beach Slang deserves to be viewed as something more than solely music.
Check out The Things We Do To Find People That Feel Like Us below and Beach Slang’s tour dates that will take them around the world and back before spring hits.
Beach Slang 2015 US Tour Dates:
11.7 Salt Lake City, Utah @ Kilby Court
11.8 Boise, ID @ The Watercooler
11.9 Seattle, WA @ The Vera Project
11.10 Vancouver, BC @ The Cobalt
11.11 Portland, OR @ Analog Cafe
11.12 San Francisco, CA @ The Rickshaw Stop
11.14 Los Angeles, CA @ Bootleg
11.15 Phoenix, AZ @ The Rebel Lounge
11.17 Austin, TX @ Mohawk
11.18 Dallas, TX @ Doubewide
11.20 Springfield, MO @ The Outland Ballroom
11.22 Lansing, MI @ Mac’s Bar
11.23 Toronto, ON @ Lee’s Place — The Cave
11.24 Allston, MA @ Great Scott
Beach Slang 2016 UK/EU Tour Dates:
1.19 Norwich, UK @ Owl Sanctuary
1.20 Birmingham, UK @ The Rainbow
1.21 Manchester, UK @ Star & Garter
1.22 Glasgow, UK @ The Hug & Pint
1.23Newcastle, UK @ Think Tank
1.24Leeds, UK @ Brudenell Social Club
1.26 Nottingham, UK @ Bodega
1.27 London, UK @ Barfly
1.28 Bristol, UK @ The Exchange
1.29 Southampton, UK @ Joiners
1.30 Brighton, UK @ Green Door Store
2.1 Cologne, DE @ Blue Shell
2.2 Munster, DE @ Sputnik Cafe
2.3 Hamburg, DE @ Hafenklang
2.4 Copenhagen, DK @ Underwerket
2.5 Berlin, DE @ Cassiopeia
2.6 Lipzig, DE @ Conne Island Cafe
2.8 Nurnberg, DE @ Club Stereo
2.9 Vienna, AT @ B72
2.10 Munich, DE @ Milla
2.11 Bologna, IT @ Freakout Club
2.12 Livorno, IT @ Surfer Joe Club
2.13 Lucerne, CH @ Triebhaus
2.15 Saarbrucken, DE @ Garage Club
2.16 Weisbaden, DE @ Schlachthof
2.17 Amsterdam, HL @ Paradiso (upstairs)
2.18 Antwerp, BE @ Kavka
Header photo by Ryan Muir
Beautifully genuine feel-good punk that will make you want to sing along and dance in a loud basement with your friends.