SXSW Music: Beach Slang

Philly punks beat the storm

“Hey, we’re Beach Slang, and we’re here to punch you right in the heart.” Bandleader James Alex was right to warn the crowd before launching into the quartet’s emotive – emphasis on “emo” – breed of pop-leaning power punk.

“Noisy Heaven” commenced the Philadelphians’ 30-minute set at Lady Bird Lake’s Outdoor Stage on Friday, that moody rock cut from the foursome’s debut LP, last year’s The Things We Do to Find People Who Feel Like Us. Such a title sounds like Isaac Brock came up with it, but it more accurately echoes the palatable punk of the Replacements.

photo by David Brendan Hall

Alex emerged eager and loquacious despite the persistent hovering of über-ominous rain clouds overhead. “This place is gigantic!” he observed, of Auditorium Shores’ leafy sprawl. “Thanks for filling it up for us.”

The 41-year-old frontman teased both Blue Öyster Cult and “Born to Run” from the Boss, but The Things We Do naturally dominated via “Get Lost” and “Bar Art & Weirdo Ideas.” 2014 EP Who Would Ever Want Anything So Broken was also revisited by way of high-octane sucker punch “Filthy Luck.”

“I’m usually drinking gutter booze, but look at me now,” Alex saluted, raising a proper cocktail glass. “Look! I’m dignified, mom!”

Beach Slang later showcased at a 1am Sidewinder gig, where the band will return come May. Wrapping auspiciously, the band finished just as lightning bolts slashed the sky.

“Thanks for giving us a shot tonight,” Alex waved. “We're humbled.”

Keep up with all our SXSW coverage at austinchronicle.com/sxsw. Sign up for our South By-specific newsletter at austinchronicle.com/newsletters for news, reviews, and previews delivered to your inbox every day of the Fest. And for the latest tweets, follow @ChronSXSW.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
Playback: Biggest Austin Music Stories of 2016
Playback: Biggest Austin Music Stories of 2016
Looking back on the biggest Music news headlines of the year

Kevin Curtin, Dec. 23, 2016

Playback: Welcome to Terrordome: Sixth Street During SXSW
Playback: Welcome to Terrordome: Sixth Street During SXSW
Appraising APD's solution to Sixth Street during SXSW

Kevin Curtin, April 8, 2016

More by Neph Basedow
Top 10 National Albums of 2016
Top 10 National Albums of 2016
Our favorite picks from across the country

Dec. 30, 2016

Critics Poll
Critics Poll

Dec. 30, 2016

KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

SXSW, Beach Slang, SXSW Music 2016, James Alex, Isaac Brock, Replacements, Blue Öyster Cult, Bruce Springsteen

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle