Lo-Fi Indie Pop
February 12th, 2016 – Jurassic Pop
Beat Awfuls has been making noise around Lexington for the last few years, playing shows, releasing EPs, all that good stuff. This Friday, they’re putting out their first full length album, Nothing Happens, and it’s nothing short of stellar. Submerged in lo-fi crunch and distortion, the songs here amble along, jangling with poppy charm. The singles are good – “Maui Wowie” is full of dissonant guitars and sings about wanting love; “You’re Not Gonna Love Me Anymore” is laid out with arpeggiated chords on guitar, glockenspiel, and its catchiness nails itself right into your head. But the thing that makes this a good record, I think, is that they could have just as easily picked any two other songs as singles to represent it. “Who’s Driving?” stuck out to me immediately, a song that sings “I sold my little brother heroin, now he’s writing a novel” as drums chug along and the guitar plunges through the verses. “Shitty City” is uptempo, with verses singing “I live in a bad neighborhood, but it’s good … I live in a bad neighborhood ’cause I should” and filled with choruses of overdriven “oooooh’s.” If you like lo-fi rock, even a little bit, you’re pretty likely to dig this one – each song on Nothing Happens is a catchy piece of pop music ripe for laid-back listens on repeat.
Tracks I Liked: Jackie Ono!, Maui Wowie!, Who’s Driving!!!, Lemon Drop!!, You’re Not Gonna Love Me Anymore!!, No Dice Cold Bones!, Shitty City!!, The One They Love!
Ben Southworth – February 10th, 2016 – Kenwick Place
Genre: Fuzzy Electronic Indie-Pop
For an album based on the subject of death, Lexington’s S H O Z O has managed to put together a collection of songs that comes out sounding surprisingly upbeat. Made up of seven songs exploring this central subject, the record manages to address death from a different angle at each track. Be it the loss of a loved one, the forfeit of love, the tragedy of last December’s shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, or an enfeebling automobile accident for a member of the group (and such for his musical comrades,) the band is perfectly capable of seeing death in nearly every light. The music is heavily electronic, relying much on the keyboarding and programming of Cameron Webster, but is given life from S H O Z O’s remaining members. With distant, but ever-present vocals from Charles Bruin and Justin Miller, and work on the guitar and bass from Miller and Ben Vickers, the band comes together with excellent cohesion. Top it off with a layer of fuzzy distortion, and some additional instrumentation in the form of trombone, cello, and violin and the album comes together with a sense of identity. When the album is over, it’s not just an album about death, but one that tells stories of the band, its members, and the time in which it was written.
Tracks I Liked? (Death Passes listens well as an album, but…) A Certain Terror!, Children of the Night!!, Falling Apart!!!, I Was an Eagle!, Defibrillator!!!, Oh Angel Our Destroyer
Ben Southworth – November 10th, 2013 – Maxwell and Hagermann