Occupying the middle ground between punky garage pop and swing-esque surf rock, Liverpool’s Beach Skulls present their most recent musical effort in the form of a brand new ten-track LP, released on April 29th via Punk Slime Recordings. Slow Grind portrays an impressive compilation of smooth vocal work, laid-back rhythms and dreamy guitars, bringing the 50s into the 21st century in a natural and effortless manner.
Opening up with ‘Heavy Pound’, Beach Skulls give us an immediate indication as to what can be expected from this record, boasting smooth surf-rock riffs and steady drums, before the Ramones-esque ‘Dreamin’ Blue’ takes over with some faster, rockabilly beats and a punky undertone. ‘Baby’s A Liar’ sees the dream-like collaboration of Vieira’s vocals and gentle guitar strums take centre stage, but it’s ‘Meet Me at the Beach House’ that really shines a light on the band’s talent, reaching both ends of the spectrum with a track comparable to both Elvis Presley and the Honorary Title.
Single release ‘Santa Fe’ comes next, highlighting the dream-pop elements of the band’s style and emphasising their signature mashup of garage pop and surf-rock vibes. ‘Melted’ kicks things up a notch with a quick opening riff, but this is where the album appears to mimic every other surf-rock release; an unfortunate matter, but Beach Skulls distract from this minor factor with a variety of infectious lyrics, making it barely noticeable.
‘In the Dark’ marks the ‘love song’ track of the album, neatly side-stepping the risk of any cheese-ball features, before ‘All Right Island’ brings the record’s focus back to dream-pop guitars and steady beats. It’s certainly not the best track on the album, but it helps in marking the near-end of the release, making way for the somewhat eerier ‘Pale Blue Eyes’ before final track ‘Porch Dude Chillin’’ treats listeners to a beautifully arranged instrumental effort. Slow Grind boasts highs and lows throughout, but it definitely proves that Beach Skulls are a band to look out for this year.
Live: The Old Blue Last – Saturday 23rd April (Free)