“A torrent of power chord fuzz, bent-note guitar leads and the ragged snarl of frontman James Alex.”
– Rolling Stone
“The band plays the kind of boisterous, all-purpose old-school rock’n’roll that kids in the ’70s and ’80s cut their teeth on.” – Kerrang!
“Beach Slang are the kind of band you want to belt out every word to, preferably while showering yourself with a keg of beer.” – The Guardian
Beach Slang will release their most accomplished album to date, ‘The Deadbeat Bang of Heartbreak City’ this Friday, January 10 on Dew Process Records.
Featuring special guest bassist Tommy Stinson of The Replacements on the entire new collection, the band has unleashed one final new album single, Stiff – out now.
Dripping with seediness, Stiff is strapped with a snotty riff, big, razory bends, back-alley vocals and a knuckly drum hook. “Rock & roll is a church for weirdos and degenerates, the brilliant and the forgotten. It’s the only place a whole lot of us have,” shares James Alex. “And we’re here for it.”
Upon the single’s release, James, in his typically endearing, heart-on-his-sleeve fashion, described the new track as both a tribute to one of his guitar heroes, and one of his oldest friends – combining emotional weight with heavy chords in the way that only he and Beach Slang can.
“When I was a kid, my friend Joey and I would sit, for hours, and draw pictures of Kiss. When we were twelve, he got sent away because of his head. Some people are just too ahead of the curve, I suppose. But, yeah, Ace Frehley was always my favorite. And I think that’s all this is—me trying to do my best Ace—for Joey.”
‘The Deadbeat Bang of Heartbreak City’ was initially announced alongside the lead single Bam Rang Rang, oozing glam and swagger over sleazy riffs and loud guitars and debuted gritty new song Tommy In The 80s with a Consequence of Sound Origins feature, strutting their classic crunching hard rock sound infused with sweet melodicism.
While James Alex has always infused his anthemic power pop with the earnestness of a gutter poet, Deadbeat Bang sneaks up on you. Like all Beach Slang albums, the eleven tracks are all written and arranged by James. It’s big, loud, and brash, immediately setting the tone for a record more inspired by the stadium classic rock of Cheap Trick than early Replacements. The record was mixed by heavy-hitter Brad Wood, celebrated for his work with the Smashing Pumpkins and Liz Phair.
Drawing comparisons to Jawbreaker and The Replacements, but never approaching easy facsimile, Beach Slang pays tribute to the past by lighting a new torch with their critically-acclaimed records. It’s a brilliant formula that initially saw them unexpectedly explode from the fertile Philadelphia rock scene in 2014. Since their debut, Beach Slang has had a long love affair with Australian audiences, with triple j and community radio stations like FBi, Triple R and 4ZZZ being early and loud champions of the group. The band toured the country in 2016 as part of the Splendour In The Grass line-up, and performed barnstorming shows in Sydney and Melbourne.
For a band that’s only five years old, Beach Slang’s story is already the stuff of legend. In 2014, James released two EPs, ‘Who Would Ever Want Anything So Broken’ and ‘Cheap Thrills On a Dead End Street.’ Having earned his bona fides from two decades in cult, pop-punk outfit Weston, James never fully considered Beach Slang a viable project until Pitchfork and tastemakers praised the EPs. Drawing comparisons to Jawbreaker and The Replacements, but never approaching easy facsimile, Beach Slang paid tribute to the past by lighting a new torch. For those of us who worship at the altar of Paul Westerberg and classic alternative, we got it right away, and if you haven’t heard All Fuzzed Out off ‘Cheap Thrills,’ drop everything and do it now.
Two critically-acclaimed albums followed, ‘The Things We Do to Find People Who Feel Like Us’ in 2015 and (triple j Feature Album) ‘A Loud Bash of Teenage Feelings’ the following year, in which James continued to explore the psychic wounds of people who burn too bright. As road warriors, with James in his ruffled suit and bulls-eye heart, Beach Slang turned any skeptics into hardcore believers with each show. It sounds like hyperbole, but every Slang performance oozes with the sweat – drenched energy and fevered reverence of a Sunday sermon. And then, with the last headlining tour in December 2017, there was relative quiet on the Beach Slang front. But, that’s where ‘The Deadbeat Bang of Heartbreak City’ was slowly coming to life.
“I would say it has the most personal songs,” says James from his home base in Philadelphia. “It really steps outside of what people might consider the Beach Slang sound…or maybe it doesn’t. There was no ‘working it out. We went into the studio and did it. There was no pre-production. This record went from guitar-vocals-demos that I made straight into the studio. Everything was on-the-fly in the studio, which is about as much from-the-gut as it gets. The writing was really thoughtful, but the execution was devil-may-care.”
Beach Slang ‘Stiff’ is OUT NOW