A band’s name can sometimes be just as important as the music it makes. A name gives a band an identity and can often give the uninformed an idea of what to expect before pressing Play.
A lot of bands pick names that sound cool or are funny or have some inside meaning. Others just lay it all out on the line.
When you see names such as Metallica, Megadeth and Anthrax, you know what’s in store for you.
While nowhere near those aforementioned bands on the musical spectrum, the group Beach Fossils do share the trait of owning a pseudo-onomatopoeic name.
As their moniker would imply, Beach Fossils harken back to the golden age of surfer rock. But it’s stripped down to its most lo-fi form, leaving nothing but a guitar, a drum machine and some moderately haunting vocals.
Putting out their self-titled debut LP in September of last year, Beach Fossils are the latest in of a wave — pardon the pun — of bands going extremely minimal in sound and instrumentation, resulting in an incredibly relaxing, almost trance-inducing sound.
Bands such as Lower Dens, Wild Nothing and The XX have all put their own personal stamp on this genre. What Beach Fossils bring to the mix is an unmistakable sun-and-sand-filled beach vibe, reminiscent of The Drums.
About a year ago, I found myself listening to Wild Nothing’s album numerous times in a row — often falling asleep to the dulcimer tones. I’ve had a very similar experience listening to Beach Fossils.
So, it’s no surprise that the two Captured Tracks labelmates have combined forces on a release for Record Store Day this year — Gruesome Flowers: A Tribute To The Wake. I had never heard of the Scottish band, but it’s apparently well-known enough to deserve a tribute. On the 7″ release, Wild Nothing covered “Gruesome Castle”, while Beach Fossils put their own spin on “Plastic Flowers”.
Check out both tracks here.
In addition to the LP and split single, the Brooklyn four-piece put out an EP in March of this year, What a Pleasure, which, at eight tracks, should really be considered an abbreviated full-length release.
It’s just as strong as the first album and features Wild Nothing’s Jack Tatum on the track “Out In the Way”. It also includes my favorite song so far by the group, “Face It”.