Beachtape – Skipping Sleep / Again

Having seen them hold their own at Sticky Mike’s amongst the likes of crowd pleasers, Puppy and a pair of Brighton heavyweights in the form of FUOCO and GANG, it’s clear to me that BEACHTAPE are confident in the music they produce; and they should be. Attacking your ears with effortlessly cool lo-fi soft rock, BEACHTAPE have an amalgamation of unique elements in their music that make them of-the-moment. So to hear that they released a double a-side venture was like cracking open a pot of honey for the flies to bathe in.

‘Skipping Sleep’ & ‘Again’ showcase their chorus-filled and bridge-pickup’d rhythm sounds, a tone that is very popular amongst their respective influences, tell-tale of the likes of Weezer. However, especially in the first twenty-or-so bars of ‘Again’, the band have not been afraid of layering on the chorus effect too thickly which, to be fair, is a very brave move. But they pull it off very well. On ‘Again’, the same thing can be said for the lead guitar sound, having a bass tone fuzz with low sustain (or my best guess otherwise) makes the lead guitar sit in perfectly amongst the other instruments. This dedication to tonal layering isn’t something that you see with a lot of garage or lo-fi rock bands, a lot of them too focused upon a junky and not-trying-very-hard sound, so it’s refreshing to see BEACHTAPE adding some proper production techniques to not only their recordings but their songwriting methods and live performances too.

The rhythm section of the band, especially in these latest releases, are very much in the business of keeping time to the millisecond, but playing percussively and adding stabs to really liven up the tunes. The opening to the song ‘Skipping Sleep’ seems to be their showcase for what a soft rock rhythm section should sound like, a heavy, trudging bass line and a dynamically sound drum beat opens the song with buckets of fervour as the high end guitar noise howls over the top. Techniques reminiscent of Sonic Youth’s: Daydream Nation.

The vocals on these two tracks are as pleasant as it gets, really. Though not entirely audible in the sense of understanding, the mixing of the vocals to be dreamy yet entirely tangible works for the bands overall sound, passive but evocative.

Overall, this is a band that know themselves stylistically, and they use that fact to the best of their ability. There’s a lot that can be said for the bands that they sound like and may or may not have taken influence from, but when the outcome is this plush, who needs to worry? BEACHTAPE had ought to be taken as they are, with a cup of black tea, because your milk’s gone off. Listen below!

Words by Harvey Dent

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