ARTIST: BEACH RIOT
TITLE: BEACH RIOT
LABEL: VALLANCE RECORDS
WORDS: SARAH SHODIPE
Beach Riot are the latest post-punk band to come out of the south of England in the last few years. Having released a couple of singles since 2017 to test the waters, the band put out their debut release in the form a four track EP in late December last year. The EP, a self-titled release, embodies just that – this is Beach Riot. It’s a release that perfectly showcases what this Brighton based four piece is all about. Full of high energy themes and punchy melodies, it’s safe to say that the ‘Beach Riot’ EP has a pretty clean, well-defined direction for a debut release.
As we go into the first track, ‘Medicate for Success’ wastes no time fulling immersing you in the EP’s tone, as that opening riff and the distorted guitars truly give you a taste of what you’re in for. The band wear their influences on their sleeves, with mid-90’s grunge and Punk Rock sounds bleeding through right from track one. The song continues to make a name for itself with the overly mixed vocals, blended in such a way that give it that true indie, gritty flavour. It’s that same flavour that bleeds into the parallels of the two vocals are strangely attractive. As we get this bombastic breakdown halfway through the song, coupled with pulsing, unrelenting drums, you can tell this is a band that know what they’re doing.
“Full of high energy themes and punchy melodies”
‘Beach Riot’ is an EP full of unique and distinctive moments like the hazy driving basslines that feature on most, if not all the songs. Couple that with reverb heavy guitars, and you get a sound that hits hard but still manages to feel in place. ‘She’s A Hurricane’ exemplifies this aesthetic perfectly. A more poppy, accessible track, it has more of the characteristics of a love song than anything else on ‘Beach Riot’. But, that’s not to say it is something predictable or generic. With the song being the lead single off of the EP, it’s been written in a way that champions the gritty South-East sound that has carved itself out in the last few years. Basically, the definition of a short but punchy track.
There’s no doubt the songs are on the EP reek with maturity and enthusiasm. But at the same time, it’s also filled with lyrics that seem to allude to or find inspiration in non-specific teen angst. Songs like ‘Medicate for Success’ best embody this, as well as ‘Seismic Shift’, which encourages a somewhat anti-establishment theme as well. Full of dramatic breakdowns and coarse instrumentals, it gives us that real Punk vibe in the vain of bands like Idles, that centres around this epic crunchy wall of sound going into the chorus. That almost trademark bass comes in again alongside the reverb of the guitars that begs for a dance-slash-mosh pit at their live shows.
“an EP full of unique and distinctive moments”
This first real outing for Beach Riot leans hard into the Brighton modern post-punk movement and, as a result gives it a real homemade feel. With a strong psychedelic theme that clearly embodies the spirit of the band, they’ve got that Alt-Punk sound down to a T, like a soundtrack for some Channel 4 cult classic about a bunch of ruff-around-the-edges Teenagers.
Their only challenge now is to give themselves a real standout identity from the other bands and release in this already somewhat over-saturated scene they find themselves in. But that just comes with time. We say, bring on the next Beach Riot release, and the next, and the next! They’re bound to win over some fans along the way.