Beach Slang’s newest release, A Loud Bash Of Teenage Feelings, is exactly what the title suggests. Think back to high school (dreary halls, squeaky lockers, overbearing adolescent angst and desperation) and you will have captured the very essence of this album: something a little bit cluttered, a little bit messy, but mostly really just a loud fucking bash of chaotic teenage feelings, both good and bad.
“Play it loud / play it fast / play me something that will always last” is how the opening track, “Future Mixtape For The Art Kids” commences. Raw vocals layered over heavy guitar riffs, this track sets the mood for the entire rest of the album and captures attention with its imperfect yet strangely pleasing composition. “Future Mixtape For The Art Kids” does not try to smooth over its wild hodgepodge of screaming background music, expressive vocals and choppy feedback. It’s a kind of honesty that is refreshing and perhaps the reason why Beach Slang’s music is able to resonate with a multitude of people, not just a select handful of emotional preteens.
This candidness continues in a majority of the other songs on the album. For example, “Spin The Dial” is mellower than “Future Mixtape For The Art Kids,” yet it holds the same appealing quality: a cluttered arrangement of unabashed truth. “Art Damage,” “Punks In a Disco Bar,” “Wasted Daze Of Youth,” “The Perfect High”— basically almost every song in this album comes together to create what seems to be the purpose of A Loud Bash Of Teenage Feelings: an anthem for the strange endearment of troubled youth. May we always remember them.
However, like every confused kid on the brink of adulthood, this album has its problems. Considering the album in its entirety, the songs generally repeat a similar sound and do not vary into the road less traveled. It’s a good sound, and one that Beach Slang has perfected into a well-oiled machine. However, music that recurs over and over again makes even the best of melodies boring and unforgettable. The indistinguishable qualities of “Art Damage” and “Wasted Daze Of Youth” or “The Perfect High” and “Punks In A Disco Bar” degrade the specifics of each song into a muddled blur. A Loud Bash Of Teenage Feelings has a good sound and a well-developed theme but isn’t varied enough, which causes the album to fall into irrelevancy and vagueness. Even compared to their last album, The Things We Do To Find People Who Feel Like Us, Beach Slang doesn’t seem to have made any strides to grow as a band. The song “Throwaways” parallels “Hot Tramps,” while “Young Hearts” may as well be a continuation of “I Break Guitars.” There does not seem to be any exploration of other types of sound, within the album or from one album to the next. As authentic and engaging as A Loud Bash Of Teenage Feelings initially is, after listening to many of the songs in succession, it flatlines and fades into a forgettable tune.
A Loud Bash Of Teenage Feelings is not terrible, but it’s not noteworthy either. It hangs awkwardly in a limbo of standardized songs brought to half-life with dynamic talent. Beach Slang gets by, but they don’t stand out; this band needs to try something new and completely spontaneous that may work or may not, but at least it will be something novel. Still, Beach Slang is a relatively young band, having debuted their EP just two years ago. Perhaps these first two albums are what they needed to find their footing in the punk rock world. Hopefully, future albums will be filled with amazing songs that push boundaries and dare to be diverse. However, in the meantime, thnks fr th mmrz, Beach Slang, but it’s time to put high school behind.