Beach – Zebras Flying (Across The Beach)
Psychedelic Rock, Lo-fi Rock, Indie Rock
Unless you really enjoy being subservient to others, it’s unlikely that you’ll like anyone or anything for very long if they do not possess a sense of humor. Regardless of how well someone can handle a specific task, there’s no person in this world interesting enough without being able to raise a smile.
It works much in the same way when it comes to popular music. Sure, plenty of bands sound nearly as good as, say, The Beatles or Pink Floyd. Many of them can outplay them. But where’s the absurdist chuckle of some of those bands’ best recordings?
Of course, things can work the other way around as well. Leave the humor, take out the pleasant, hooky melodies, and you end up with Frank Zappa records. Beach’s Zebras Flying (Across The Beach) takes on the difficult task of trying to marry the jokes with pretty melodies. It’s a calculated risk and one that mostly pays off. You’ll need to suspend your disbelief for a second, of course, and give your focus to the artist. But, you may just end up smiling and tapping your foot to this. Not a bad deal.
Sweet Home – Autumn
People who grew up with pictures of rock stars adorning their bedroom walls are stuck on the idea of the electric guitar as the be-all and end-all of music. They are upset if their favorite bands do not feature enough loud guitars. And they are usually upset if a guitar hero doesn’t play the kind of guitar solos that Slash or Eddie Van Halen might have fashioned in their heyday.
In other words, they are indoctrinated as people who have been forced to adhere to strict religious ideals for most of their lives. It’s all the other listeners who carry the burden of these small-minded thoughts. You’ve enjoyed over half a century of the electric guitar sounding a certain way. Now, it’s time to enjoy at least another 50 years of this stuff.
But, perhaps, there is hope. Using the six-string as a vehicle for chaotic noise-making as much as a tool for creating harmonious sounds, Sweet Home’s Autumn leans against conventions. It’s a mood piece that sounds like the wing howling through empty streets, like the seasons forcibly changing all around them. And, best of all, it shows that, perhaps, it’s good to go back to the 1980s if we can have any musical future at all.