By Maria Gotay
The Beach Arabs are a trio you should get to know by their progressive and experimental genre-bending rock sound. They’ve gathered a light buzz around Brooklyn, one of the members hailing from Bushwick, and having shared bills with groups such as Phillip Seymour Hoffman. For this young, refreshing band there’s nowhere to go but up, having already released their debut 8-song LP, Under the Whale and playing at Death By Audio, where I caught them last week.
Listen to and download “Under the Whale,” the 3rd track off Beach Arab’s Big Bang Mountain EP here:
The first genre that comes to mind when listening to their music is punk, but they create such a blend of different influences that it’s hard to label them as a strictly punk or rock band. They experiment with their sound- different songs follow varying moods- incorporating surf, garage, experimental, grunge and jazz influences. The most obvious thing about their music is that they aren’t playing around. Despite playful jamming and scattered percussion that seem to segment their music, they power through each song with serious intention, riffs picking up on forgotten song elements from earlier on, bringing the listener full circle on each song. Guitarist Liz Hogg plays her electric guitar as the band’s primary voice and melody maker, though when they do incorporate lyrics, they gain a level of relatability which makes them seem more like a 90’s rock band. If they had to be grouped with some influences we might be able to hear, I hear a smashing sample with little bit of Modest Mouse, Yuck, Pavement, Deerhunter… if you added a super-shredder guitar.
Switching gears from hardcore guitar parts to more tropical melodies on songs like (name-track) Beach Arabs, they remind us of just why their sound is so refreshing. There is no doubt in the way they lay out their songs, where a band as new and young as this might find pockets of insecurity, they instead reinforce their unique sound by going even harder. On “Under the Whale” we are reminded of the band’s punk roots and moody noise elements, then swiftly transformed to a lighter, less demanding listening spot with rhythmic guitar sweeps. The guitar sound is strong, precise, and powerful, the drums crash emotionally, and the bass bumps around in a very energetic way. To sum it up, The Beach Arabs are unapologetic. And this is why they are our Bushwick Music Crush. Look out for their second full length album, which they are currently recording to be release in 2012.