Beach Fossils’ Shoegaze Punk

A Maturing Band Combines Styles at the 9:30 Club

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Photo:: Kohei Kawashima

The Brooklyn-based Beach Fossils gave a noteworthy live performance on Oct. 24 at 9:30 Club. Despite a post-midnight start, they played with energy into the wee hours. In contrast with their recorded music, they displayed an alter-ego punk side.

Beach Fossils is one among the tidal wave of indie dream-pop “shoegaze” bands that have drowned the music scene since 2009. While their first two albums seemed scattered and fragmented, the atmospherics in their music pulled the pieces together into a tangible whole. A sense of expectancy left listeners hungry, gaining them attention in the indie community.

With its fervent energy in contrast with the band’s usual sleepiness, Clash the Truth came as a major surprise. Drawing on post-punk influences, it is darker album. The strength of the band’s instrumentals effectively complements their dreamy vocal attitude.

Their latest, Somersault, does not stray far, but does take risks. While a few songs are rich enough to be memorable and somewhat addictive, the remainder drag slightly. The increased clarity in the band’s vocals shows growth from their murky beginnings. Perhaps they are evolving towards something more idiosyncratic and less generic.

At 9:30, a matured Beach Fossils experimented without losing the pleasant simplicity and lightness that originally made their music so attractive.

Rebekah is a Capitol Hill-born, DC native raised on Eggo waffles and Britpop. She graduated from The Evergreen State College where she learned how to listen to trees. She enjoys cult horror and fixing old cars. Visit her blog.