BY ADAM PAGE | Jonk Music
Beach Fossils are yet another up-and-coming band on Captured Tracks, a young Brooklyn label that also plays host to Wild Nothing and Thieves Like Us and has released records by the Dum Dum Girls and Woods, among others. CT has had remarkable, if modest, success in its four short years of existence in finding a national audience for the groups on its roster. Perhaps this can be chalked up to the continuing view of Brooklyn, along with the Pacific Northwest, as the creative center of indie music. If it's any sort of rock-like music being made by three to five semi-disheveled guys (sometimes girls) in an almost comically cramped Brooklyn loft, there's a general assumption that, hey, there must be something to it. New York is certainly the easiest place in America to be horribly, horribly poor. And as we all know abject poverty automatically makes a band's music approximately 20 percent better.
But if you're assuming this is all a set-up for a deliciously devastating take-down of Beach Fossils, a group whose music Pitchfork describes as a "quintessential Brooklyn rooftop party soundtrack," you'd be wrong. Despite having a typical, unimaginative name and seeming to embody everything risible about lazy, poseur chic (this song is called "Shallow" for Chrissakes!), this band is on to something that's... pretty nice. Like labelmates Wild Nothing, Beach Fossils traffic in clippy guitar arpeggios and echoed mumbling — a combination we've heard before, to be sure. But these guys do it well, and with a healthy dose of panache. They keep "Shallow" short and punchy, rather than stagnating in the fuzzy, zoned-out approach used by many of these types of bands. The stuttering, almost funky rhythm of the verses is particularly irresistible.
Still, more than ten years after The Strokes saved rock 'n roll it's certainly tempting to write off every one of the tsunami of young bands still marching out of New York. But Beach Fossils are as good an example as any of why it would be folly to do so. And ditto for Captured Tracks, who seem to be building up their brand by simply signing good bands. As much as I'd love to hate this, it's much easier to simply love it.