Album Review: Beach Slang – Cheap Thrills on a Dead End Street EP

Hailing from Philadelphia, punk trio Beach Slang have released their latest record in the form of the new EP, ‘Cheap Thrills On A Dead End Street’. And well, despite having a name reminiscent of sunny days and seaside holidays, Beach Slang offer a surprisingly autumnal blend of 90s style emo, mixed with an eerie post-punk influence, similar of bands like The Psychedelic Furs and The Jesus and Mary Chain. Regardless of this however, Beach Slang have created a truly interesting EP.

Nonetheless, it is these two styles of music that Beach Slang channel through a flurry of whirling guitars and percussion. First track ‘All Fuzzed Out’ fully captures this style, offering a rhythmic, if not tad repetitive drum beat, similar to more of the British post-punk scene, while displaying a guitar tone that sounds like it could have come straight out of ‘Clarity’. This blend of music is prevalent throughout the majority of the EP, yet Beach Slang have used it very effectively. As on the whole, while it is easily accessible, the band still uphold that alternative edge which many people will enjoy.

It is these styles that matches Beach Slang’s lyricism. Ranging from the brooding track ‘Dirty Cigarettes’ to the more poppy chorused ‘American Girls and French Kisses’, Beach Slang confess a wide range of emotions lyrically, despite only being able to show this throughout the small amount of songs. Notwithstanding this however, it’s only the final song which offers a bit of change musically, to the otherwise blended sound of the EP. Acoustic track ‘We Are Nothing’ is certainly more toned down than the previous songs in terms of production, yet displays an uplifting chord pattern, which while coming off as a bit of a cliché anthem, is wholeheartedly enjoyable.

What really stands out though is the effect of frontman James Alex’s vocals.  Throughout the EP, James’s vocals exhibit this ethereal quality that floats over the more blurry guitar riffs, yet at the same time possess this gruff-sounding rasp. Second track ‘Dirty Cigarettes’ showcases this quality amicably. With hook, “Dirty cigarettes and a dirty soul. Tell me I’m enough, I am dying to know what it’s like”, proves not only to be catchy and enjoyable, but echoes influences of the gritty howls of singers like Paul Westerberg and Brian Fallon.

Of course, with the EP reigning in after only the fourth track, it’s simply a small sample of the ability that the band possess. However, Beach Slang have certainly showed off their musical talent with this release, and have shown plenty of promise for the future.


‘Cheap Thrills On A Dead End Street’ EP by Beach Slang is out now on Tiny Engines.

Beach Slang links: Facebook|Twitter|Bandcamp

Words by Harry Miller (@HarrryMiller)


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