Let’s get lost in this feeling/like we’re never gonna die/make it soft like we’re dreaming/cross my heart stab my eye/you’re the perfect high
It’s always a risk, albeit a very common one, when a group of rockers go the nostalgia route to bring back their years of youthful rebellion. It often comes off as pandering, condescending, and occasionally desperate (here’s looking at you Rivers Cuomo). When done well (Arcade Fire’s Suburbs, and Best Coast’s Crazy For You are excellent albums that are seeping with nostalgia) it transports us all back to the gritty days of adolescence, when everything and everyone was simultaneously the best and the worst, and our parents just didn’t understand us. A Loud Bash Of Teenage Feelings, the sophomore album of Philadelphia-based punk rock trio Beach Slang, straddles both ends of this spectrum. With song titles such as “Future Mixtape For The Art Kids,” “Wasted Daze of Youth,” and “Young Hearts,” Bleach Slang offers us a batch of new songs about angsty love, rebellion, boredom, and youthful hedonism.
A Loud Bash of Teenage Feelings is an apt title for this album. From drunken debauchery (I’m too drunk to spin the dial/ bathed my bones in alcohol/so I don’t have to think at all) to hyperbolic allusions to suicide (Cover up my sins with truth/ if you stop being alive/baby take me with you) and of course the desperate need of music to save our souls (Play it loud, play it fast/ play me something that will always last/ play it soft, play it quiet/ Play me something that might save my life), Beach Slang covers the wide array of conflicting emotions that many of us experienced in high school.
The problem with this album is its inconsistency. At its best we get catchy pop punk power chords (“Future Mixtape For The Art Kids”). We get introspective guitar riffs (“The Perfect High”), and slow builds “(“Warpaint”). At its worst we get overly affected vocals and derivative lyrics (“Atom Bomb” is basically a recycled Hives lyric). In an era of concept albums, A Loud Bash of Teenage Feelings doesn’t quite make the mark when held up as a whole. However, digging through the familiar mundane one can find moments of gold.
A Loud Bash of Teenage Feelings is a true indication that teenage angst never goes out of style. If you want to get your fill of teenage kicks, Beach Slang is coming to the Bishop in Bloomington October 25th.