Beach Fossils began as the solo bedroom recording project of lead member Dustin Payseur, and an introspective dream-like quality is still noticeable in their most recent release.
Clash the Truth, the Brooklyn-based band’s second full length album combines gentle guitars and melodies with a slightly sharper edge, possibly a nod to Payseur’s former punk influences.
Opening track ‘Clash the Truth’ evokes classic 90s indie rock, its guitars in full reverb mode. After a couple of rounds of the monosyllabic shouted chorus the listener feels uplifted, and the fairly
abstract lyrics just work.
‘Sleep Apnea’ is the closest Clash the Truth gets to a ballad, its haunting drone-like melody becoming quite predictable as the song goes on.
The full-length tracks on the album are interspersed with shorter, instrumental sections as one might find on a prog-rock concept album. Throughout the record, these interludes work with varying
degrees of success – it is clear that the album was put together with the intention that it is listened to straight through, in order.
Of these interludes, ‘Brighter’ is a highlight, as the sound moves away from droning guitars and into far more orchestral territory. However, as the gentle synth climax builds, it is suddenly cut short
as we launch straight into the loud, indie guitars of ‘Caustic Cross’. As a transition, it sounds fairly clumsy.
‘In Vertigo’ features Blonde Redhead’s Kazu Makino, and returns to the 90s indie dream-wave sound present on many of the album tracks. The fuzzy guitars and breathy, muffled vocals work well
Clash the Truth is an accomplished album, which melds different influences and remains an interesting listen throughout. But due to a slight lack of continuity, as well as an over-reliance on
guitar effects at the expense of melodies, it falls just short of initial high expectations.
Words: Elizabeth Palmer