Wednesday, March 9, 2011

I have my hand raised, please call on me! Beach Fossils and Human Television

Sometimes good bands get overlooked, or at least don't enjoy the attention their efforts deserve, because their style is out of favor with the dominant tastemakers, or because their particular field is so crowded with similar bands that it is more difficult to stand out against the bands with better hype, or just better luck. An example of the former problem is one of my favorite bands of the 2004-2006 period Human Television. An example of the latter is the difficulty that Beach Fossils had in standing out in 2010 relative to The Drums, Dum Dum Girls, Best Coast, Surf City and Surfer Blood. And in my opinion that is a shame, not because those other bands aren't fine bands -- they are and they released fine albums -- but because Beach Fossils deserves attention.

The band has followed up its 2010 full length, Beach Fossils with a seven track What A Pleasure EP that I think reveals a tighter band with a cleaner delivery. But is still delivers the jangling guitar sound over a clean drum pattern and a bouncy bass line. From the new EP:

It isn't complicated music, but music need not be complicated to be evocative (Was Howlin' Wolf complicated? Did he evoke emotions?). In my view, the album's goal isn't to deliver a message, it is to create a mood. While arguably lo-fi, it isn't, despite the band's name, really surf music and it isn't trading on nostalgia. It is straightforward indie rock without gimmicks or pretense at anything else. And I think it will well serve you as one of the soundtracks for your life for a good while.

Beach Fossils Myspace

Beach Fossils Facebook

And I brought up Human Television above not just to support my thesis, but because I want to take this opportunity to create a few new new fans out of the millions of WYMA readers. The band started out in Florida, then moved to the Northeast, finally settling in New York and signing with Brooklyn label Gigantic Music. They released an EP entitled All Songs Written by: Human Television in 2004 and an LP entitled Look At Who You're Talking To in 2006.

"I Laughed"

"Mars Red Rust"

I'm not aware of an announcement that the band disbanded, although one of the guitarists set out on his own a few years ago. But there also hasn't been any new material in almost five years and Gigantic's website lists them as a band formerly signed to the label.

Human Television Myspace

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