Beach Fossils - Beach Fossils

Jamie Milton 10/06/2010

For the last year, if not longer, escapism has been the beefy subject matter taking up space in the majority of alternative music's releases. Most notably for the euphoric bedroom-dance-pioneer Memory Tapes, it worked wonders on 'Stay Magic'; word of mouth helped spread thousands towards the charming sense of triumph bursting from all sides. Amongst Girls, Pomegranates and Washed Out, in a similar
spreading of popularity, it certainly did favours. Make no mistake: Dustin Payseur is just as infectious and my word, will summer erupt to the soundtrack of this album. But a great deal of 'Beach Fossils' feels repetitive, tedious even. And you can't help thinking that it all comes down to a boredom with sodding escapism.

There's appeal in listening to sharp, jaunty rhythm-sections and
Payseur's guitar delivering one memorable riff after another. But the appeal stops there. Road trip companion but soon to be forgotten; smile-inducing but easily misplaced; perfect for a sunny day but ignored with the change of weather, this is a limited record.

Many will argue for the lazy, short attention span attitude that comes with the territory of writing songs about getting on a bus and taking a vacation (that would indeed be last year's single, 'Vacation') but one needs to ask the questions: Is Payseur designing his debut on a dumb, alt-kid image? Is Beach Fossils holiday music and nothing but?

Perhaps this isn't an album to ask questions about. When you have songs as dazy and infectious as 'Twelve Roses' and the sign-of-things-to-come opener 'Sometimes', the compulsion to stop being such a miserable bastard and to just get giddy with the others becomes too much. “Most albums with this sun-stroked set of sounds don't have ambition for longevity, anyway,” you tell yourself, and you take your clothes off and rush into the sea.

But then the desire for alternative music to get angsty again becomes overwhelming. One of 2010's highlights, Beach House's 'Teen Dream', showed the band maturing from seaside-soundtrack to emotional heart-stoppers. We need more of this. As for catchy hooks (ie. Beach Fossils), they very rarely make special albums, excluding exceptional works with more to them. If you're seeking insignificance and that
priced escape however, look no further.

Release date: 31/05/2010