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This Looks Serious

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Album Review

Rayon Beach is apparently a border town between the Kingdom of Lo-Fi Garage Punk and the Principality of Lo-Fi Synth-Noise, and the citizens of this tiny hamlet are happily honoring the customs of both of their neighbors, judging from the album This Looks Serious. Melodically, Rayon Beach seem to favor the streamlined melodies of classic synth pop, with the bass patterns bubbling under sustained keyboard lines, but the sloppy yet energetic drumming (when the drums are real) and the hard clang of the electric guitars give the performances a tough, organic foundation. And though Rayon Beach use a variety of electronic gizmos to play with their vocals and add a subtext of otherworldly menace to the music, most of the time, This Looks Serious rocks hard, with plentiful melodic hooks and ragged-but-right harmonies only enhancing the snarky force of their songs. Any album that opens with "Some Fun Before We Die" and closes with "The Libertine and the Happy Slave" is clearly wearing its attitude on its sleeve, but even as lyricist Thomas Sutherland plays the cool card and the vocals maintain a hip swagger throughout, Rayon Beach do not hesitate to draw sweat. And while the prominence of cut-rate electronics adds a greater refinement to these performances than you'd expect from some pack of garage-punk reprobates, This Looks Serious is clearly direct from the garage, rich with the aromas of motor oil and spilled beer. The results suggest Rayon Beach are still a few steps away from being able to take on the world, but This Looks Serious will certainly rock your party, which is a good place to start, and they have more than enough stylistic ambition to make them a band to watch.

This Looks Serious, Rayon Beach
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