Cheap Thrills On A Dead End Street is only Beach Slang‘s second EP, but you’d never guess. Their debut, Who Would Ever Want Anything So Broken?, came out back in February, to rave reviews and widespread critical acclaim. So much acclaim, in fact, that it’d be nearly impossible to go into the EP with reasonable expectations. But no matter your expectation, Who Would Ever Want Anything So Broken? almost certainly fulfills them all – and then some. So how could they possibly follow that up? By releasing probably the best EP of the year.
Cheap Thrills On A Dead End Street doubles Beach Slang’s discography, giving us four more tracks of 90s inspired punk rock. Beach Slang calls to mind two distinct groups in the 90s – Jawbreaker and Goo Goo Dolls. They are hardly any bands who sound further apart at their commercial peaks (Dear You and Dizzy Up The Girl, respectively), but Beach Slang melds both band’s earlier, rough punk sounds – mainly it’s like Jawbreaker music fronted by Johnny Rzeznik – that means Beach Slang’s graced with one of the best vocalists in the genre, his voice raspy, but versatile enough to sound just as powerful on the fast-paced “American Girls and French Kisses” as it does the acoustic “We Are Nothing.” His lyrics are largely the same as we’ve heard from them before – band life, ex-girlfriends, and alcohol. But they’re presented in such a way that they don’t seem tired or uninspired, with self-deprecating humor and enough subtle wordplay to keep things interesting.
Musically speaking, though, things are a bit different this time around. Three of the four songs are midtempo jams, not breakneck singalongs. That doesn’t mean they’ve lost any energy, as the opening pair features probably the band’s two best tracks. That all said, only “American Girls and French Kisses” would sound entirely at home on Who Would Ever Want Anything So Broken? It’s the only super uptempo track on the EP, and as such, provides the best shout alongs. It’s nice though – each EP’s a bit of a slight change of pace from the other, and they work well together. Hopefully their next release will be a full-length, because they could easily write an album of the year contender.