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Beach Fossils - What A Pleasure EP Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 7
Musicianship 6
Lyrics 5
Production 6
Creativity 3.5
Lasting Value 2
Reviewer Tilt 4
Final Verdict: 48%
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Beach Fossils - What A Pleasure EP

Reviewed by: Blake Solomon (02/17/11)
Beach Fossils - What A Pleasure EP
Record Label: Captured Tracks
Release Date: March 8, 2011

There's a paradoxical problem that arises when Beach Fossils hit their stride. During onslaughts of mini bass-bubbles, languid vocalization and general not-caring-ness, these Brooklyn dudes simply become a superb background band. The slightest disturbance to one's environment can render an intricate haze-rock number like "Fall Right In" even more inert than usual. But, I guess, if you have nothing but some headphones and a wall to look at, the What A Pleasure EP can induce one of those ethereal experiences lots of shamans and college sophomores talk about. It's sort of a right place-right time album, but only if that place is face down on a bed and that time is when you feel like laying face down on your bed.

Which is not to say that What A Pleasure is worthless. I, for one, often find myself with quite a bit of nothing to accomplish. And although me saying that only when I literally have nothing to distract me do I pop in a Beach Fossils album isn't so much a backhanded compliment as it is a completely rude non-statement (that says much more about my sad state of affairs than anything critical about the band), it is still a sentence in this review. So, there's that. And while the 7 or so songs on What A Pleasure have different names, it never really feels like anything ends or begins. It just kind of is, much in the same way that after listening to Beach Fossils, you know something happened but you can't remember why it did so or what it meant.

But it all has to mean something, even if that something is just for the sake of playing music. And on songs like "Calyer" and "Face It," there is music to be sure, yet neither song does anything but make you go, "Wait, again?" At the risk of sounding like a person completely out of ideas, What A Pleasure is sort of like one of those MC Escher paintings - everything is the same, despite being presented as something different. I guess at the heart of my argument with this sort of "beach" rock or "chill" tunage is that a style is not a box or whatever. And an album shouldn't sound like it took one day to write.


Recommended If You Like: Real Estate, The Drums, Best Coast


Calm Gowww.myspace.com/beachfossils
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 18
08:48 AM on 02/18/11
#2
Kbm600
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I understand the "surf and "beach" rock comparisons, but so far everything I've heard from this EP makes the Best Coast sound like a joke. Maybe that's just my condescending opinion toward them though.

Regardless, I disagree with this review. I felt like each song had its individual personality. Different strokes for different folks, I guess.
09:24 AM on 02/18/11
#3
Blake Solomon
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I understand the "surf and "beach" rock comparisons, but so far everything I've heard from this EP makes the Best Coast sound like a joke. Maybe that's just my condescending opinion toward them though.

Regardless, I disagree with this review. I felt like each song had its individual personality. Different strokes for different folks, I guess.
Yeah, I don't know, it's just so same-y, even for an EP.
09:47 AM on 02/18/11
#4
Co and Ca
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while it's a well written review, i disagree with it completely. i actually really like this EP.it's good to see they're progressing from their debut while not losing my attention.
09:55 AM on 02/18/11
#5
Young Machetes
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I really liked this EP. I've enjoyed everything to come out of the whole lo-fi surf rock sound. Surfer Blood, Beach Fossils, Real Estate, and Best Coast. Now I'm awaiting The Vaccines' full length.
10:00 AM on 02/18/11
#6
Blake Solomon
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I really liked this EP. I've enjoyed everything to come out of the whole lo-fi surf rock sound. Surfer Blood, Beach Fossils, Real Estate, and Best Coast. Now I'm awaiting The Vaccines' full length.
You're not putting The Vaccines in the surf rock group, though, are you?
10:38 AM on 02/18/11
#7
Young Machetes
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You're not putting The Vaccines in the surf rock group, though, are you?
Nope nope. At first I thought they would be, cause I heard the comparisons to Surfer Blood, but after receiving the three-song sampler, they're not. Just something I'm looking forward to.
11:30 AM on 02/18/11
#8
lightcollapse
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Blake: the anti-chillwave.
01:09 PM on 02/18/11
#9
Holly HoX!
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The full length was boss. Haven't listened to this yet. I've been too busy blasting the new Cloud Nothings record - I'll throw up my review when I get a chance. I wouldn't put Best Coast in this same category either. Beach Fossils = Ducktails = Real Estate = Memory Tapes. Best Coast = Dum Dum Girls = Vivian Girls.
01:24 PM on 02/18/11
barkingincision
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haha wow. it's pop music.
02:22 PM on 02/18/11
Holly HoX!
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haha wow. it's pop music.

no, dude. this is totally sludge/hardcore, bro.
02:56 PM on 02/18/11
Blake Solomon
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The full length was boss. Haven't listened to this yet. I've been too busy blasting the new Cloud Nothings record - I'll throw up my review when I get a chance. I wouldn't put Best Coast in this same category either. Beach Fossils = Ducktails = Real Estate = Memory Tapes. Best Coast = Dum Dum Girls = Vivian Girls.
I do enjoy Memory Tapes and Real Estate, Ducktails not so much. But I would put Memory Tapes in a far different, far superior category, as its dominance of electronics allows for much more experimentation in my opinion. I too enjoyed Beach Fossils' prior album, but this doesn't feel new and it certainly feels like a waste of money if you already have that album. There's nothing wrong with a band having a sound and using that sound for their whole career, but for my money I need to have some sort of change between tunes and certainly between albums.
03:14 PM on 02/18/11
Holly HoX!
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I do enjoy Memory Tapes and Real Estate, Ducktails not so much. But I would put Memory Tapes in a far different, far superior category, as its dominance of electronics allows for much more experimentation in my opinion. I too enjoyed Beach Fossils' prior album, but this doesn't feel new and it certainly feels like a waste of money if you already have that album. There's nothing wrong with a band having a sound and using that sound for their whole career, but for my money I need to have some sort of change between tunes and certainly between albums.

Money issue = Mediafire. But on a serious note, I see where you are coming from with Memory Tapes. I also think he has a lot more offer sonically compared to the more straightforward surf pop guitar work of Real Estate. I don't see how you like Real Estate, but not Ducktails - it's the guitarist's solo project. He does a bit more analog-type recording, but it's essentially the same guitar work/floating vibe. "Killing the Vibe" is one of my favorite songs so far this year - you should check it out. Like I said before, I haven't given this EP a listen yet, so I can't really weigh it against the full length, which I loved. A little off subject - have you checked out the new Cloud Nothings record? You'd probably dig it.

I'd also have to disagree with the "changing between albums" argument. There has to be cases where you want bands you listen to remain somewhat constant when it comes to their overall sound. Again, you have to realize that this is just an EP and not a full length, which does make a difference.
04:16 PM on 02/18/11
Blake Solomon
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Money issue = Mediafire. But on a serious note, I see where you are coming from with Memory Tapes. I also think he has a lot more offer sonically compared to the more straightforward surf pop guitar work of Real Estate. I don't see how you like Real Estate, but not Ducktails - it's the guitarist's solo project. He does a bit more analog-type recording, but it's essentially the same guitar work/floating vibe. "Killing the Vibe" is one of my favorite songs so far this year - you should check it out. Like I said before, I haven't given this EP a listen yet, so I can't really weigh it against the full length, which I loved. A little off subject - have you checked out the new Cloud Nothings record? You'd probably dig it.

I'd also have to disagree with the "changing between albums" argument. There has to be cases where you want bands you listen to remain somewhat constant when it comes to their overall sound. Again, you have to realize that this is just an EP and not a full length, which does make a difference.
I've heard the new Ducktails album. It's just not as interesting/diverse as Real Estate to me. I mean, obviously all of this stuff is nit-picky, because in its essence, yes it sounds a lot like Real Estate. But if I'm going to pick one, I'm going to go with Real Estate. It's also kind of strange that he released a solo album that is pretty much exactly what his band does only more benign. I don't know, it might just be a case that I heard Real Estate first and now this will always be "that second thing I heard from them."

I listened to the Cloud Nothings album once a week or so ago. It was ok, although the guys voice started to bother me after a while. Interesting stuff for sure, though.
08:56 AM on 02/19/11
adamKS
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don't agree entirely with the review. . .i've enjoyed everything that beach fossils have released but i will say this for all the bands mentioned in this thread

even though their not considered "beach" or "surf" rock. . .they do sound similiar in many ways and "the pains of being pure at heart" totally murders all of these other bands in quality, sound, everything. . .
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