Friday, March 18, 2011


Beach Fossils
What A Pleasure EP
8 out of 10

So, just when you think this Brooklyn shoehaze band couldn't possibly best their stellar 2010 self-titled album, Beach Fossils roll-out an eight song follow-up EP that grafts a subtly sublime shimmer onto their already superbly established sound. And the results are simply sublime [Editor's Note: This review was apparently written by Cobra Commander]. What A Pleasure is the aural equivalent of a warm summer breeze brushing past your cheek as you pilot a old convertible (possibly a Karmann Ghia?) to your favorite sun-drenched hot spot by the sea.

The aptly titled What A Pleasure opens with "Moments," a one minute and change ditty comprised of chiming guitar, rolling drum fills and "ah-ahh"'s, setting the stage for the seven tracks to follow. The title track, with it's bobbing bass lines and melodic guitar picking are languidly reminiscent of Echo And the Bunnymen or The Cure, with lead singer/songwriter Dustin Payseur vocal's floating overhead like a phantom. "Fall Right In" is more pensive and anxious, but still retains Beach Fossils lackadaisical couch-crash vibe.

"Out In the Way" features a "what took these two so long?!?" duet with label-mate Wild Nothing's Jack Tatum, that is, simply stated, the best song on this disc. Conjuring the spirits of Sarah Records stalwarts The Field Mice, The Orchids, Another Sunny Day, and The Wake, "Out In the Way" is so fuckin' rapturous and note-perfect, it hurts (...hurts so good!) Try listening to this song on an overcast day whilst walking across an back-roads bridge and not be tempted to throw yourself over the railing in some sort of misguided and naive romantic gesture. Impossible!

Both "Face It" and "Distance" originally appeared on the 2010 Face It/Distance single, but sound perfectly at home in this collection. "Calyer" is possible the most layered and complex song of the bunch, with nods to The Chills and Haircut 100. "I wanna share baaaaaaaad times," Payseur whisper-croons. Honestly, if bad times ever sounded this good, well then, share away, you miserable ghost, ya! 

What A Pleasure closes with "Adversity," book-ending this EP with a bridge to "Moments'" opener. As with the previous tracks, "Adversity" spreads the lazewave jam on thick and tasty-like. It's at the point when this song ends that you'll be tempted to press play on this EP again. And then again. And still yet again. Do so, with reckless, lazy abandon!

(If you're a completest nerd like me, do yourself a favor and download the tracks "Time" and "Desert Sand" and attach 'em to the end of this EP. Both songs are available on iTunes for $2. Sure, these tracks veer-off What A Pleasure's hazy-go-lucky vibe, but you can't go wrong with 11 new-ish Beach Fossils songs, right?)

While What A Pleasure doesn't veer-off Beach Fossils' already established path too drastically, it does manage to add a breathlessly toothy - albeit bittersweet - grin to the band's formula. If this is what Beach Fossils do in EP form, I seriously can't wait to hear their next Long Player.

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