Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Sound engineering by Mike Gentry, Mastering by Sam Patlove
Perhaps, it's what makes any young man sit down to write a song, but there's a modern movement in the artistic work coming out of this new crop of garage bands, which lean heavily on the jiggly guitar, an ocean of reverb on anything going through microphones or amps and the storylines of young characters fighting with a tough, gristly set of years before life really gets unbearable, or fights back. There are many bands turning the typical teenage angst into a sound that feels like a getaway - a tropical vacation that goes hand-in-hand with a lemonade and a joint. They're not sweating any of it - all of the difficulties of having to find a job, getting through school, finding a good girl who likes him for his shaggy/partially motivated self and just being somewhat happy - turning these moments of anxiety and consternation into sunny, hammocky-mid-afternoon-napping odes to all of the days that we gladly just waste, as if they were on fire. Brooklyn band Beach Fossils is one of these bands that seems to be deliberately trying to fool its brain into believing that all of the beat up and dog-eared details of their sunken days are actually times to stamp in gold leaf and pack away into memory books under hazy reflections - the kinds of elysian times that can be broken out many years in the future, when talking with the kids or grandkids about what it was like back in the day. These are the days that they were present for and somehow they will appear to carry twice, if not three times as much fondness, years and years later - though they sound as if they're just fine here on the band's self-titled, debut full-length. These are the moments that will be bent and repurposed, given alibis and new identities. They'll look better as reflections so, to get a jump-start, they're propped up and given holey Chuck Taylors and sunglasses to wear. They're made into the aloof trophies that dreams are made of. The experiences that we hear in the songs featured in this session take us into this frame of reference where nothing can be taken as ideal and there's a whole cloud of confusion lingering over-top of most everything and lead singer Dustin Peyseur takes us to where we're able to just tune it out somewhat. There's another dude picking a fight with him in "Youth" and yet, there's sand between our toes and the show must go on, with little to know drama. The guy's up in a grill and asking if someone wants to step outside and settle the accidental bump or whatever silly thing just happened. Peyseur responds, likely as an inner monologue, "I don't know what I think. I feel it all tonight," and it sums up the general chill that's aligned with Beach Fossils. Even with a bloody lip looming, there's reason just to relax about whatever's going to transpire. There aren't many reasons to get hung up on small shit - these dirt-bag, jerk-offs causing trouble - just turn the music up and believe in another line that Peyseur sings later in "Youth," "I know I'm feeling great, but that because my heart's untied." We should all be so lucky.