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.

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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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