Label: Captured Tracks Release date: 31/05/10 Link: Official Site Brooklyn has become the haven for lo-fi pop and rock. It was an easy decision, considering that Brooklyn and surrounding areas are home to scores of diehard hipsters, bands like Blank Dogs, Woods, Real Estate, and Beach Fossils, and weather that makes scarf wear an ironic must. So when approaching an album like Beach Fossils, there is a slight air of trepidation. Will it be closer to the just-so-meh enjoyableness of Real Estate, or be a classic early 2000s kind of lo-fi in the vein of K Records acts? Luckily it’s a blend, and it fares well enough barring a few major missteps in songwriting and production. To begin, don’t expect to be rushed or rattled by this collection of songs. They all move along at about the same pace, often marked by a very distinct lack of discernable chorus (something that has been mentioned by other reviewers). Each song, as a result, feels even less rushed by being pushed along only by minimal momentum. Each instrument cleverly plays a tailored version of motorik, guitars often settling for nothing less than a barrage of eight notes while the drums tend towards two bar loops to cash in on the constant quarter note bass pulses. Since each song is often built around nothing in excess of a four bar loop, widely varied production would assist in breaking what could be perceived as a boring set of repetition. Rather, each guitar always has that light Fender built-in reverb with only the small change of some Edge styled delay assistance on songs like ‘Lazy Day.’ Similarly, each vocal track has the exact same reverb on it, often gently washing unlike Wavves and more like Woodsist. It may the similarity of each composition that serves as the draw, though, as I often found myself revisiting songs because of the melodies. If nothing else, Beach Fossils can write some damn good verse melody tailored to the voice singing it in conjunction with the effects applied, and not merely for use as effect fodder as so much lo-fi is often wont to do. Now, pardon me for being so brief here but it almost feels like if you’ve heard enough Woodsist pop and Be Gulls, it all becomes harder to make unique to the genre. Something tells me Beach Fossils are gonna go somewhere with this style in a few discs. For a debut, it’s impressive in its solidarity and consistency in terms of both the sound and the songwriting. There are few missteps in the actual songs, just in the execution, and maybe the dull cover is a bit of a knowing joke on that. It’s not all one white wall, there are a few chips in the paint that make it worthwhile to look at, you just have to tune out some of the other homogenized areas. Photobucket