The Upshot: It all sounds like you’ve found yourself in a crush at the front of the stage in a tiny punk dive, guitar amps blasting directly at your head.
BY FRED MILLS
The kind of record that seduces so thoroughly that you just want to start pumping both fists with—nodding to the album title—teenage abandon, A Loud Bash of Teenage Feelings is the second full-length by the band everyone is calling the “new” Replacements, Philly four-piece Beach Slang. It follows a slew of singles and EPs (which, in addition to original classics-in-the-making, included such influence-revealing 2015’s long-playing debut The Things We Do to Find People Who Feel Like Us. There’s anthemism galore in these grooves—brilliant royal blue, limited edition, vinyl grooves at that—all chiming/chugging guitars, huge four-square beats, and a raspy-throated urgency coming from singer/guitarist James Alex.
Indeed, these visceral tunes are directly descended from classic adolescent fantasy-scapes. There’s the feedback-flecked, Paul Westerbergian “Atom Bomb” (sample lyric: “I’m an atom bomb/ Come smear your lips on my bruises/ Wake Me Up, wear me out, let’s get free, numb, and loose”); a riff-tastic wall-of-sound named “Punks in a Disco Bar” (you want “Westbergian”? how about “I’m a bastard light/ I ain’t no one’s son/ Man, they taught me to talk then told me to shut up”); and the swaggering “Young Hearts” which, with its crescendoing dynamics and inspiring lines like, “The gutter’s alive with young hearts tonight/ The nothing kids, the restless and forgotten,” could pass for vintage Who at the height of their early ‘70s glory. There’s even a tune for the shoegaze generation—droney, soaring, psychedelic anthem “The Perfect High”— in the way the track tears a page or two from the Ride and Stone Roses playbooks.
And it all sounds like you’ve found yourself in a crush at the front of the stage in a tiny punk dive, guitar amps blasting directly at your head. If that’s not a formula for exhilaration, I don’t know what is.
Consumer Note: For vinyl nuts, this one’s available on gorgeous colored wax, with a download code included. (My copy is royal blue, although the photo above, from the band’s website, would suggest it’s in more than one shade.) The sleeve is a thick cardboard gatefold with textured cover, and included is a thick lyric/art booklet. Nice touch, lads.
DOWNLOAD: “The Perfect High,” “Punks In a Disco Bar,” “Art Damage”