From the aptly named Moss, out in Norway, Beezewax make smart and dazed indie rock in the style of noise connoisseurs Dinosaur Jr., Husker Du and Teenage Fanclub. Their sixth record is called 'Tomorrow', and shows the simplicity with which they yield harmonies under the mess, while also giving some credence to the '80s. Because you know: some things exist outside of the '90s. We just don't know it yet.
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- Tomorrow by Beezewax
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I’ll never get over these indie rock contradiction records, the ones that sound as blissful and chilled as you might on a warm summer’s day, but writhe with urgency and disquiet. If you’ve ever loved Real Estate, you’ll know what I’m talking about: that’s the kind of band that can make a jam out of clean guitars and softly-spoken hums and still make it sound clammed up and anxious -- like on “Talking Backwards”, where they sung “I might as well be talking backwards / Am I making any sense at all?” while making perfect sense.
Like their vacuous guitar ancestors, Beezewax come out of the gates screaming, their earnest, spring-cleaned songs played at panicked tempos and sung with a terrified breathlessness. Here’s an oxymoron that sounds fucking good: everything is calibrated for the best pop experience, the synths gliding like invisible particles in the air and the riffs so easily thrown off they might as well be played off a preset. It’s so fast, though, and so terrified in its minor key, that you feel it could fall apart. On “Riding Down a Hill”, the band link together vocal melodies that play out the way they once did in bands like the Wrens -- both the lead and backing vocal sound as inflicted with the same pain and emotion, making for a surprisingly communal, empathetic indie pop song. Meanwhile, the guitars roll back the years to before indie rock had become salted with the possibilities of punk rock, and still kind of existed in that nebulous, slightly questionable ‘80s way. Bless it -- with their soft, high-pitched vocals, Beezewax sound like Superchunk if they’d been a band ten years earlier.
These chill indie records often feel like totally pointless retreads, but ‘Tomorrow’ is one of the lucky ones, similar to Horsebeach in recreating the genre’s yesteryear in only the finest moments -- and, of course, it helps that they’ve got a tonne of that ineffable thing we like to call heart. Oh, and the melodies are really fucking great, which is all you really need: on “Everyone Will Tear You Down”, Beezewax show off their prowess at slinking from verse into chorus and making both sound like the same brilliant, jubilant affair. Don’t even fret, dudes: your album is a good time.
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