Friday, April 15, 2016
Album Review :: Beach Skulls - Slow Grind
April 29 2016 (PKSLM Records)
Words: Richard O’Hagan
One upon a time there was a band named The Thrills, who released two albums full of relentless paens to slacker Californian life, with titles such as ‘Santa Cruz (You’re Not The Far)’. And then they disappeared, because everyone realised that there is only so much of that sort of thing that you can take before it becomes rather dull and wearisome.
And now come Beach Skulls with ‘Slow Grind’, and other album full of gentle jangly melodies all vaguely evoking lazy sunny days in the American South (heck, the final track is even an instrumental called ‘Porch Dude Chillin’. It’s that kind of a record) - even though the furthest the three Skulls have ventured is the North West corner of Britain.
All of which means that, after a while, it does become a bit samey and a bit wearisome. Opener ‘Heavy Pound’ has a nice Velvets-y touch to it, but single ‘Santa Fe’ (yes, really!) pretty much encapsulates the rest of the album as it gently tinkles along without really intending to do much or go anywhere. Indeed, the bit in ‘Meet Me At The Beach House’ where frontman Ry Vieira inexplicably rhymes ‘beach house’ with ‘freak it out’ could scarcely be more ill-conceived, as freaking out is the last thing you’ll be doing to ‘Slow Grind’.
That’s not to say that this is a bad album. Far from it. It just isn’t a very exciting one. If you want something to soundtrack your summer barbeque then you could do a lot worse. On the other 365 days of the year, though, when the skies are grey and drizzling, it really doesn’t have much going for it.