It’s always a good thing when you see a band figure out what they do well. The new single from indie-surf-rock band Beach Fuzz, ‘Join the Club,’ is an example of a group starting to realize their strengths and run with them.
This happy-dance jam starts out with a bright guitar riff; it’s simple and repetitive, and there’s nothing quite like a walk down to get the cuffed pants moving to the beat. Some light phase on the guitar holds up as a testament to their love for the surf sound. Suddenly, the hi-hats kick in, along with a slightly distorted guitar groove. The guitar here does not exactly match the chords that lead in; the warm late nineties-style distortion on this guitar feels out of place in comparison to the beginning. It feels like messy layering, but continuing on with the anticipation of the whole band breaking in tightens the gap it creates with every second. Another layer of electric guitar riffing, bass, an organ to fill in the cracks, and a playful synth harmonizing to the lead guitar rounds out the song’s entirety.
They strip these elements just in time for the verse. Framed by just the surfy riff, bass and drums, the singing is what you’d expect from a Philly indie band made up of Temple students. The lyrics are generally vague, but they get that classic “I’m not in touch with my emotions” feeling across that has had fans entrapped by their favorite artists for years: “I will try/to tell you how I feel this time.” Lyricism and singing may not be the strong suit of Beach Fuzz, but their concept of arrangement holds the song together very effectively. Hearing the soft twinkling of the synth and the use of doubling vocals as well as background vocals brings this song up a whole lot.
After breaking into that full jam again, they sing/yell the chorus: “I watched you leave and now I’m here alone / I’ll join the club.” It is simple, but it’s also catchy and inclusive. Following the chorus, there are moments of change, like a bridge with a different riff and a minor shift, as well as watery picked guitar. For a brief moment there is a flash of a synth solo, because they have to make sure every member of the band gets to show off (not facetious, it’s only fair.)
Beach Fuzz trades off straight jamming on their instruments and hammering home that relatable chorus for the rest of the song. Lower harmonies are added on, and it sounds like the whole band is singing. As much as I can’t help but eye roll at another indie band with the word ‘beach’ in their name, this band is made up of solid musicians who are playing to their strengths. If you’re looking for a light pick-me-up, or something to show that friend that only listens to indie pop to try to get them into more locally-made music, you’ve found the right song.
- The production is very consistent; everything stays audible and sounds decent
- There’s no part of the song that is distinctly unlikeable
- Some moments of drumming sound slightly off
- The meshing of tones could be smoother