‘Hardcore Easy Listening’ might seem like an oxymoron, but it’s the best phrase to describe the latest flow of sound from Halifax’s own Beauts. ‘Waves/Wash’, their sophomore release, is proof of the band’s commitment to expanding the maritime music scene with their self-proclaimed ‘shout-along choruses’. Band members Palmer Jamieson, Jeff Lawton, Darryl Smith, Erik Van Lunen, and Joel Waddell have been working hard on their sound since 2015 and show no signs of stopping.
‘Waves/Wash’ opens on a strong note, (an A to be exact) with the powerful guitar riffs and drum kit crashes that kick off ‘Covers’. Had the tune sprung up around 2012, it would have fit beautifully with the angsty mood of the soundtrack on ‘The Perks of Being a Wallflower’. Something about the song makes you want to start a mosh pit with your friends, but also settle down in the worn seats of your Honda Accord and go on a long drive to somewhere, anywhere, far away from teenage troubles. Overall, Covers is the perfect choice for an opener as it’s just a sampling of what’s to come over the course of the EP.
Usually it’s said that one word choruses are lazy and contrived, but ‘Ether’ proves this sentiment wrong. Dead wrong. The emphatic chorus has so much passion in it. What will tonight hold? Who knows, but if you say “tonight” thirteen times in a row, maybe people will think you have a grip on things. In the words of Palmer Jamieson, “Ether is a shimmery post-pop song.” It’s energetic, light, and full of all the things that make a fantastic feel good track.
‘Clocked’ is interesting, and has many layers musically. Whether you need a relaxing beat in the background to quietly jam to, or a loud booming track to excite your senses, ‘Clocked’ will satisfy. With its mix of heavy guitar chords and more intricate riffs, it is definitely the most well-rounded song on the EP.
The EP ends with the titular track: ‘Waves/Wash’, where the band’s growth is evidenced with its drum-driven momentum. When asked about how their sound has changed since the release of their self titled EP, Jamieson says, “We didn’t have the luxury of having a full time drummer so we went into the studio with fully flushed out drum parts and had Jordan Murphy from Walrus record them. Since Joel joined the band after our first tour, he has added so much dynamic to our songs. I also feel like we have a better understanding of each other’s strengths and how we play together. We’ve challenged each other more and have a bit more of a post-punk/post-pop lean than the indie-pop label that we have been given.”
Ultimately, ‘Waves/Wash’ is beautifully simple music that has complexities hidden within if you listen closely. Those four little tracks nestled in the EP contain so much angst it’s contagious. Beauts play the kind of music you can play as loud as possible, and somehow it still won’t be loud enough to satisfy your inner teenage trepidations.
For more information check out Beauts on Bandcamp.