Everything Matters But No One Is Listening

Quiet Slang

Polyvinyl Records, 2018


REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


Quiet Slang is the alter ego of punk sensations Beach Slang, who in a very short time have become a pretty big deal in their scene. While the current version of Beach Slang has only the frontman, James Alex (formerly of Weston) left as the original member, it has spawned this side project where Alex reinterprets Beach Slang tunes in a way that finds him, as he puts it, going “head over heels for Stephin Merrit” (The Magnetic Feels).my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

True to the concept, the album starts with piano and strings before Alex's soft and raspy voice comes in to tell the story of being a misfit. “Noisy Heaven” follows a similar path, and takes on a more cinematic quality with sweeping beauty and an aching backdrop. “Future Mixtape For The Art Kids” brings a lyrically abrasive song met with classically influenced music. It's a strange dichotomy, as we’re hearing very mature, eloquent music while Alex is singing multiple lines with the word 'fuck' in them.

The remainder of the album is, well, more of the same. And it's not that Alex isn't a great songwriter because he's remarkable as a lyricist, but most of the songs blend together with very little to separate each one. There are noteworthy moments: the dreamy cello on “Spin The Dial” is mesmerizing, and the sparse and backing vocals of “Throwaways” is a moment of beauty. But at 10 tracks, the appeal just doesn't make the distance.

This is certainly an unusual listen for a loud punk frontman. Though I do respect the ability to step out of one's comfort zone to expand on creativity (and am diverse enough in my own tastes to appreciate a project like this, considering my penchant for Beach Slang, who are very much influenced by The Replacements), this just won't take up space on my turntable the same way Beach Slang does.

Rating: C

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



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