BCH Pick Of The Week

Only two tunes thus far from Michael Beach’s latest release but they’re both crackers and have excited me more than anything else I’ve heard this week (excluding perhaps the latest Mark McGuire album but the dude has no Band Camp). Beach is an Australian musician (and member of the excellent Electric Jellyfish) who now resides in San Francisco. The town obviously agrees with him, as the last release A Horse and these new shining pieces suggest.

Straight Spines is a frenetic little tale of mental anguish and unreleased tension, all anxiety and jarring tempo changes, all that beautiful guitar tone that Beach so masterfully controls, all cryptic lyrics, and the not so cryptic.. 

my mind is pulling me in;

my mind is pushing me out again

This is taut and tight like the best Eddy Current (minus the mania), it’s minimal and tense like the best Carver story (minus the alcoholism), and it’s the sort of music that reminds me that’s it’s still very possible to make vital rock and roll.

There Is No Edge Of The World To Run To is a more relaxed affair, a country song of gentle yearning cast in a mild hangover. Like the best country, it has sadness and hope in equal measures. A shot of melancholy with a chaser of joy. That’s hardly an equal measure, is it? When the keys come in on the solo you know you’re in for the night, that it’s another lock in. Just suck on the ice and look at your sad old countenance in the bar room mirror. At least you can smoke inside after closing time.

(Don’t drink, kids)

In the end, as always, what’s important is the music. Beach has provided a delicious little taster of this long player with these songs. Can’t hardly wait for the full deal.

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