Album Review: Beach Fossils - Clash The Truth

Album Reviews
Gerrit Feenstra

Beach Fossils have done a lot of growing in the past couple years. Their 2010 self-titled debut was pleasing to the ear and to the heart with it's quiet, introverted finesse. But in 2011, by trimming some lo-fi fat off their tracks, they created a timeless experience with the What A Pleasure EP. Sure, Beach Fossils is a great record, but on a clean cut landscape these Brooklyn boys could really show off some excellent counterpart and instrumentation that was obscured in the past. Of course, now that they've dialed in to a signature sound, it's time to change everything up again. And so we have Clash The Truth - an excellent record full of Beach Fossils nuances and charms out next week on Captured Tracks. Captured Tracks is home to some of the best modern shoegaze acts on the scene. But by changing their throwback time period slightly, Beach Fossils have created something new and exciting. With Clash The Truth, new life is breathed into the new wave of shoegaze and Beach Fossils lead the way.

Beach Fossils really like the 80s. I mean, who doesn't? But with Clash The Truth this is more evident than ever. They've traded in the shimmering, laid back indie rock of What A Pleasure for a brutally pure glance at mid-80s post-punk and the early beginnings of shoegaze. No, this isn't another "shoegaze" record trying to push their chorus and reverb effects to the the brink of insanity while tonality and songwriting suffer. Rather, Beach Fossils maintain the excellent chops they've developed thus far and take them to noisier territory. The result is, as you can guess, fantastic. In particular, "Shallow" maintains a thick layer of noise guitar in the background throughout while up front is the same old Beach Fossils we know and love so dearly. The mixture is both progressive and fitting.

At times, Beach Fossils do let their influences creep a bit too far in to the forefront. The title track is about as New Order as you can get without Stephen Morris on drums, and with Kazu of Blonde Redhead guest starring on "In Vertigo", the My Bloody Valentine vibes abound profusely. But at the end of it all, it's not too much. Beach Fossils are still utterly true to themselves even in a different sonic dimension. After taking you to a wide variety of places across the record, Beach Fossils close with "Crashed Out", which could fit on What A Pleasure in a heartbeat. The record is never too far removed to discourage running fans of the group, but it's progressive enough to stay relevant in the brave next phase of the shoegaze reincarnation.

Clash The Truth is out February 19 on Captured Tracks! If you need more convincing, listen to the rest of the record here.

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