Beach Fossils, Beach Fossils
Hazy and navel-gazy, defiantly homemade (and often slightly out of tune)
Forty-five years ago, Dustin Payseur's arpeggiated, reverb-soaked, trebly guitar playing might have been the stuff of surf music; 20 years ago, it was the spine of Sarah Records and the cluster of introverted, muted British pop bands around it. Now it's the core of his Brooklyn-based solo-project-turned-trio Beach Fossils. The band's self-titled debut album is 11 songs that stake out a very specific patch of territory: the sort of rock music that's played sitting down, hazy and navel-gazy, defiantly homemade (and often slightly out of tune), drenching Payseur's voice in so much reverb it seems to be descending from a plume of smoke. What keeps the album rolling, though, is Payseur's knack for tiny, interlocking hooks, strung like twinkling Christmas lights across his mantralike two- and three-chord progressions; there are no big choruses or riffs here, just lots of deft little filigrees. It's easy to tell who's inspired particular songs here: Galaxie 500 ("Window View"), the Byrds ("Vacation"), My Bloody Valentine ("Wide Awake"). Beach Fossils' sonic aesthetic, though, is pinpoint-specific, and it's a sound that's easy to lose yourself in.