“THE NIGHT IS ALIVE, IT’S LOUD AND I’M DRUNK!” So opens ‘Noisy Heaven’, one of ten breathless anthems that make up Beach Slang’s debut. The line is as perfect a scene-setter as anything you’ll hear this year, with each track here designed for maximum adrenaline impact.

The wind-tunnel production and swigging, snorting attitude mark The Replacements as Beach Slang’s totem, and song titles like ‘I Break Guitars’ and ‘Too Late to Die Young’ (the album’s token ballad) ram the ethos home. Meanwhile, frontman James Alex rasps his lyrics in a Marlboro-ravaged whisper so forceful you’d never guess he was already a punk veteran, let alone in his early forties. This puts him in the same position as Craig Finn was when the Hold Steady broke big ten years ago.

But where Finn operated as the scene’s omniscient narrator, Alex provides poignant, on-location reportage right from the pit. “I BLUR ALL THIS HURT INTO SOUND,” he repeats at the album’s close. Beach Slang bring both to the extreme – noisy heaven indeed.


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