Beaches : She Beats
People that didn’t get into Beaches the first time around tended to write them off as less than the sum of their constituent parts. Formed from members of Panel Of Judges, Love Of Diagrams and Spider Vomit, their Mistletone debut lacked the lilting playfulness of the first band, the frenetic urgency of the second and the unpolished rawness of the third.
The band's second album has been given their paramount effort, to be sure: better production, Michael Rother cameos, a wall of sound rich enough to inspire Phil Spector to kill again. There are hints of ingenuity on the record, such as the Eastern-inspired melody of Veda and the guitar tones of the psychedelic Weather, both of which are probably the biggest departures from their earlier work, while still being wrapped in enough vocal harmonies and familiar song structures to recognisably belong to the band.
There’s been a seachange in Melbourne music over the last four years, much of it driven by Chapter’s flagship bands. Perhaps there’ll be people who give She Beats a cursory listen out of nostalgia; certainly enough has happened in the time since their debut that the band feels like they could be from another era. Anyone who falls into this trap is missing what makes this a great album and such a marked improvement on their earlier work. In remaining aloof from yet another one of this city’s coagulations of style and sound, and refusing once again to pander to expectations, Beaches have returned more audacious and entrancing than ever.
BY SEAN SANDY DEVOTIONAL
Best Track: Weather
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In A Word: Jangly