Feb 232011
Authors: Nic Turiciano

It irks me when a band doesn’t change its sound. Three records of sameness equals one loooong album. And maybe it’s a good album, but it’s certainly not daring.

The flipside is that I’d be rude-pissed if summer decided not to be warm and sunny, or if spinach Parmesan bagels ceased to exist. What if Pizza Casbah changed its recipe, and it sucked?

Some things are defined by their consistency. Beach Fossils’ debut self-titled album had that quality on lock. Every song was as good as the last. It was one of the most cohesive and consistent records of last year.

Their new EP, “What a Pleasure,” isn’t a major departure. It’s still hallmarked by lazy melodies and sparse, open instrumentation. There’s enough space in their music to move a beached whale through.

“What a Pleasure” finds itself with slower tempos and less interplay between guitars than its predecessors. The songs are less rushed and don’t finish before they’ve begun.

Sounds like an improvement, right? Not so much.

Would summer still be as enjoyable if it wasn’t so fleeting? Would Pizza Casbah still be delicious if you analyzed the layer of grease before finishing the slice?

The emptiness of the songs combined with a crisper production than Beach Fossils have used in the past makes for an EP that showcases its weaknesses instead of hiding them.

Songs that would have come off as effortless when produced differently come off as lazy, and vocals mixed too high work against the cohesion that makes Beach Fossils so damn enjoyable.

Regardless, I’ll still be listening to “What a Pleasure” during the fleetingly lazy summer months. I might even be eating a spinach Parmesan bagel while I do it, because while the production may differ, the product is consistently rewarding.

Music reviewer Nic Turiciano can be reached at verve@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 4:05 pm

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