Minneapolis-obsessed Beach Slang are back with the EP MPLS | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

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Minneapolis-obsessed Beach Slang are back with the EP MPLS


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When Philadelphia’s Beach Slang first appeared in 2014 with a couple of EPs, I was fully obsessed. Fronted by former pop punker James Alex Snyder, who spent the 90s cofronting Weston, the band produced hook-filled brilliance by summoning the heartfelt, clean-channel warmth of punks-turned-alt-rock-icons such as the Replacements, Hüsker Dü, and the Lemonheads and adding a big tip of the hat to radio-ready acts such as Goo Goo Dolls and the Gin Blossoms. I couldn’t get enough, and I wasn’t alone. Beach Slang were suddenly everywhere, and they quickly put out a full-length on Polyvinyl, 2015’s The Things We Do to Find People. The first time I saw them play was on their tour for that album, and it burst my bubble—their live show was frankly annoying. Snyder’s nervous energy was cranked to 11, and he constantly stopped songs halfway through to tell random stories or ramble on endlessly; just as aggravating, the band played two Replacements covers, as if we didn’t already know they were fans. Between that disappointing experience and the band’s highly publicized drama, which included onstage breakups, swift reunions, and a revolving-door lineup, Beach Slang soon became too much for me. To be totally honest, I stopped paying attention. I completely missed the band’s second full-length, 2016’s A Loud Bash of Teenage Feelings, and 2018’s all-acoustic LP Everything Matters but No One Is Listening, which they released as Quiet Slang. In fact, I didn’t listen to Beach Slang again until this year, when they released the EP MPLS—named after the city that Snyder can’t stop fucking talking about. And guess what? It’s really, really good, and I feel silly for ever cutting Beach Slang off. The EP’s two tracks are stacked with everything that made the band’s first recordings so good. I’m sorry, Beach Slang: I was in the wrong, and you are still a helluva band.   v

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