Beach Fossils – What A Pleasure EP

January 01, 1970

(Captured Tracks)


On their eponymous 2010 debut, Beach Fossils brought forth a
carefree sense of frivolity to the gauzy din of the Brooklyn
chillwave movement. But on this excellent eight-track follow-up EP, the group cleans
up their sound to deliver a more streamlined approach to their echo-drenched,
treble-charged reverence to the guitar-driven dream pop of such lost early ‘90s
acts as The Ocean Blue and Trash Can Sinatras.


Perhaps even more so on Pleasure,
given the inclusion of guest collaborator Jack Tatum (from Wild Nothing), whose
penchant for detached New Order-esque romanticism serves as the surprisingly
perfect foil for the Fossils’ pensive jangle on the outstanding tune “Out in
the Way.” It would’ve been great to have seen Tatum and Fossils frontman Dustin
Payseur come together on more than just one tune; their voices work incredibly
well in unison, and Wild Nothing’s signature synth style melds seamlessly with
the overall production. (Also make sure to seek out the two bands’ split 7-inch
tribute to Scottish indie pop legends The Wake.) However, the inspirational
runoff of this collaborative nirvana cascades down the rest of the material like
Reckoning-era R.E.M. if they recorded
exclusively with Smiths producer Stephen Street for the 4AD label, evident on
songs like “Fall Right In,” “Face It” and “Calyer”.


This all-too-brief record is kind of like falling into a
college radio wormhole that exists somewhere in an empty warehouse on N.12th
St. in Williamsburg, transporting you to a weird
netherworld where Athens, Manchester
and Glasgow are
actually all the same town in the Reagan/Thatcher age. It’s a sonic illusion
that, to paraphrase Ryan Howard from the first post-Michael Scott episode of
NBC’s The Office, truly makes this Pleasure a treasure.


Right In,” “Out in the Way,” “Face It,” “Calyer” RON HART



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