Quiet Slang

Everything Matters But No One Is Listening

Polyvinyl

May 21, 2018 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


Over the last handful of years James Alex has led the often-changing lineup of Beach Slang at hundreds of wild-eyed, tender-punk, soul-punch shows and delivered a pair of bruised, spectacularly joyous rock 'n' roll albums in the shape of The Things We Do to Find People Who Feel Like Us in 2015 and A Loud Bash of Teenage Feelings in 2016. Their bar-band drunk, teen dream Replacements rock has wended its way into thousands of clenched fists and open hearts during that time and now we have Quiet Slang; the first step in some kind of musical evolution for Alex.

On Everything Matters But No One Is Listening the name changes, the instrumentation alters but the song remains the same. Here are a set of new iterations of Slang favorites, previously delivered with a feedback wall of fury, now presented with cello, piano, and voice.

It works remarkably well. The majestic sweep of "Dirty Cigarettes" ("I never fit, I never tried/I need the struggle to feel alive") is delicate perfection while "Noisy Heaven"—with its iconic opening line "The night is alive, it's loud and I'm drunk"—sounds somehow more desperate, more idealistic in this form.

The clash of theme and delivery is, of course, striking, yet there's not really a moment when it doesn't enamor and envelop—the only occasions on which its validity might be questioned are on tunes that were already semi-ballads—"Too Late to Die Young" for instance. Yet when presented as a whole alongside these other glorious interpretations it all makes some kind of heartfelt sense.

This is an utterly gorgeous record that moves, inspires, and invites mixtape inclusion at every turn, Alex's punk rock transformed into ethereal hymns to love and comradeship. A true delight. (www.beachslang.com

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RepRightSongs
May 22nd 2018
4:53am

“Everything Matters But No One Is Listening.” This title reminds me of those who live day after day realizing that their life is very stressful but yet they do nothing about it.

Then someone like me comes along to try and show them a different way but they don’t want to listen.

They know that it matters to try and do something better with their lives but if they never listen, how will that be possible?