Who Would Ever Want Anything So Broken? is the debut EP from Philadelphia, PA trio Beach Slang, released digitally and on 7" vinyl via Dead Broke Rekerds. Beach Slang is a relatively new band (playing their first shows next month) featuring members of Weston, Ex-Friends, and Crybaby—bands I've heard of, but never actually heard. But I may need to remedy that soon, as this four-song EP is easily one of the best things I've heard all year.
Right out of the gate this material brings to mind Bob Mould's work with Sugar, which is of course a high compliment. There's a little more energetic speed here, however, with light tinges reminiscent of The Replacements and Jawbreaker. They've got the somber honesty and feeling of emo, the catchiness of pop-punk, and the powerful surge of the best '90s alternative rock—all adding up to 11 minutes of sheer perfection.
"Filthy Luck" kicks things off with a high-energy dose of immediate hooks and superb vocal harmonies, adding in quick fits of aggressive feedback to help propel its driving pulse. "Kids" follows in much the same vein, dominated by charging power chords and little melodic lead bits. "Get Lost" then tends to be slower, spacious, open, and jangly—creating more of a melancholic edge. And last but not least, "Punk or Lust" returns to surging chord progressions while leaning a little more on those one-string pop-punk lead melodies here and there.
Excellent production, too. Everything's consistent, with a super cohesive mix where the raspy vocals blend right into the heart of the instrumentation. Warm, natural tones are accented by bright, ringing melodies; and there's just the right amount of density to add a subtle touch of "heaviness" and punch.
I haven't seen the physical 7", so I can't speak to that aspect of the release, but I can say that this is another record whose cover totally grabbed my attention and is very likely the reason I decided to give the EP a shot. I can be a little bit of a jackass in terms of making assumptions based on band names, etc. For whatever reason, "Beach Slang" just suggested something a little different to me than what their music actually represents, but the gorgeous aesthetic of the cover art caught my eye for an immediate listen, and within seconds I was hooked. I mean, those opening lyrics? "I'm a slave to always fucking up. It's not okay, but maybe it's enough..." Yeah, I'm in. So good. Lyrically (and vocally, really) this should absolutely appeal to fan's of Blake Schwarzenbach's approach in Jawbreaker, which is another high compliment. (Look for swift wit such as, "Turn the amps up to nine. I don't want it too loud...")
I'm neither adequately informed nor well-written enough to sit here and tell you precisely why this band should be considered "important" and "a big deal," so I encourage you to please listen for yourself, 'cause literally everything about this EP is fucking incredible. I'm far beyond enthusiastic here: I completely flip out and lose my mind over shit like this! I'm already dying to hear more, so I can't recommend this enough.
You can stream the entire EP at Bandcamp, where it's already available to purchase digitally for a mere $3 (Less than a buck a song!); or pre-order the 7", which ships in late-June.