Record Review: Beach Fossils

Beach Fossils
What a Pleasure EP
Brooklyn, NY

“Grab your deck and retire to the beach after-party.”

It’s called recession music, where a single individual does everything from writing to recording (inexpensively) – and Beach Fossils fit the bill. Originally the solo effort of Dustin Payseur, his driving guitar mazework is received like a relic of the ’50s. With the help of John Pena, the duo authored their self-titled debut, the soundtrack to the summer of 2010. What a Pleasure features a lot of what made the debut great, but is matured and seeks reservation as it moves through inspired guitar hooks and reclined harmonies, baked in reverb.

If the debut was the soundtrack to hitting the surf, What a Pleasure is for the bon fire, where unwinding begins and even dancing seems too exerting. “Calyer” and “What a Pleasure” are definite bliss: slow-going and heavy with listenability, between undistorted electric guitar noodling and Payseur’s rebelliously conversational vocals. “I wanna hear bad times / I wanna share bad times,” he drones with punk-like affectation.

The EP glides along seamlessly, think Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue – where cool is defined – and pace isn’t pressured, where a solo can sneak by unassumingly. Typically, a bass-drum-guitar arrangement results in a band wringing old tricks with new melodies, but technical competency allows Beach Fossils to stay on the cutting edge. Technique and skilled musicianship lead to longevity. And although fast-paced beach music is the norm (Surfer Blood and Wavves) the gleeful unobtrusiveness of What a Pleasure makes it inspired, buoyant and original. (Captured Tracks)

Engineered, recorded, mixed and produced at home by Dustin Payseur // Mastered at Bonati Mastering by Josh Bonati

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