The remaining members of Brooklyn based dream-pop band Beach Fossils are doing just fine without John Peña. While he was out recording under Heavenly Beat, they were too busy making them. February 19, 2013, lead singer/visionary Dustin Payseur and his band-mates will finally be able to showcase their Peña free, yet electrically utopian sophomore LP Clash the Truth.
“Life can be so vicious and we can’t even appreciate its purities,” sang Payseur in “Clash the Truth,” the anxious cymbalized track that began their album’s 14 track adventure.
Unlike their previous LP What A Pleasure, in which most songs contained a hazy, lead bluegrass element, this time around explosive drums, distant voices and steady guitar melodies were in order to Clash the Truth, like those heard in their debut track “Careless.”
Their label name signifies their signature sound, as they seem to have a knack for capturing tracks while making the smoggy Brooklyn air sound like a somber waterfall like in “Sleep Apnea.”
“I’m staring at the sky, but I can’t tell which way my thoughts are traveling, sang Payseur on the mellow track that’s minor guitar strings and constrained monotone somewhat channel Coldplay circa 1999.
On a brighter note, the LP evokes a collision of sun shining optimism hidden behind foggy grey clouds. They do an excellent job of incorporating a rainbow of drum, bass, vocals and that signature shoegaze guitar reverberation in “In Vertigo” featuring Blonde Redhead’s Kazu Makino. In other shoegaze styled tracks like “Birthday,” the band integrated a cheerful guitar solo strumming out a tune that sounded ever so familiar to Captured Track label mate Wild Nothing’s 2010 “O Lilac.”
In terms of length, the average track from Clash the Truth is about 3 minutes, which is a tad disappointing. The second album is supposed to demonstrate an inclination from the first and when you compose such melodic, catchy tunes, it is a letdown when they end so abruptly. Miniature instrumentals such as “Ascension” are beautiful additions to the album on their own, but a little Payseur lyrics wouldn’t hurt them.
No Peña this time around, but Payseur and the gang may have a classic on their hands. The upbeat tracks “Crashed Out” and “Shallow” have an addictive nature to them, so contagious that you may not be human if you can’t feel the adrenaline once the pulsating drums kick in. The rush you’ll get from some of the more lively tracks on the LP, definitely make up for those that may not be a favorite.
Next time I visit the Coney Island Beach, I must thank them for their remaining Fossils, not seashells, but the musically inclined band with their sophomore album due for release on February 19. What a Pleasure!