Beach Slang - The Things We Do to Find People Who Feel Like Us - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Beach Slang - The Things We Do to Find People Who Feel Like Us

by Jim Harris Rating:9 Release Date:2015-10-30

It was the mid-90s that I first visited the Pacific Northwest and the music scene was dominated by the grungy metal sounds of Nirvana, Alice in Chains, Stone Temple Pilots, but this scene would pretty much be dead by 2000. Except in the Pacific Northwest. I travel there a couple times a year and I am rapidly flipping the scan in my rental car to get away from hearing ‘Rape Me’ or ‘Rooster’ or any number of songs from the first Pearl Jam album over and over again.

The same goes for the Eastern Coast, specifically the New Jersey area and Philadelphia and such.  Again, rapidly scanning to get away from Springsteen, Goo Goo Dolls, Bon Jovi, etc. One hard rock anthem after another about being a disenfranchised youth tired of playing the same records and taking the same drugs and needing to hit the Jersey turnpike in search of something, pussy, if they really have to pinpoint one thing, but then I click on Beach Slang’s first song, ‘Throwaways’ about a dead end town and leaving with a full tank of gas.  And written by a forty-something who’s been doing energetic but uneventful punk rock for 25 years?

I love it.

The entirety of the preciously titled The Things we Do To Find People Who Feel Like Us is an unadulterated attempt by a punk rocker finally turning on the demons of his regionalized musical past, embracing them, and spitting them back out with a demonic and energized freshness.

Beach Slang spits out one loud anthem after another with a lead singer who’s voice is scary and strained from a punk past, no doubt, who writes one clichéd lyric after another about hard luck kids, drugs, and going nowhere, etc. but still the album nails this anthem rock sound.  Sounding alternatingly like the Replacements , Goo Goo Dolls, Bon Jovi, radio-friendly rock to blare out of your old Saturn in the parking lot of a 7-Eleven.  And perhaps the songwriter and guitarist, James Snyder, can’t afford much more than a late-model Saturn after a career playing punk-rock, but this album twists the anthem themes and sense of disenfranchisement of youth wonderfully until each one isn’t so much a cliché of the genre but an homage to it and all that motivated him to choose a punk scene as his escape.  In the only truly acoustic track Snyder laments that it is too late to die young and one line goes: These Punks are wired, but these records feel tough…

If you are the least bit interested in a punker’s take on that New Jersey sound that began with The Highway’s jammed with broken heroes on a last chance power grab then grab everything you can by Beach Slang. It will be well worth it.

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