James Alex’s Beach Slang had an uproarious start in the life-affirming rock of 2015’s The Things We Do To Find People Like Us (QRO review), but even as strong follow-up A Loud Bash of Teenage Feelings (QRO review) came out, the band had its struggles, losing basically everyone but Alex. The songwriter then shifted to his acoustic side as Quiet Slang, but now the Beach is back & big on The Deadbeat Bang of Heartbreak City.
Beach Slang’s great active, emotional rock comes in right at the start of Bang with intro “All the Kid in LA” and “Let It Ride”, followed by the wildcat rock ‘n’ roll of “Bam Rang Rang”. Alex has never shied from his Replacements influence, and for this record upped it by recruiting none other than The ‘Mats own bassist Tommy Stinson – and having a song dedicated the rocker who works so well with others, “Tommy In the 80s”.
Admittedly, there are pieces that are not as memorable, particularly with the album sounding a lot like the first two Beach Slang records. And the two steps outside of that, the acoustic-and-strings “Nobody Say Nothing” and piano elegy closer “Bar No One”, are good-but-not-great. But it is great to have Beach Slang back and rockin’.