The Heart, The Product, The Machine, and The Asshole
Hey kids, meet the Beatings! Eldridge plays guitar and sings, with his friend Tony doing the same. Erin is a girl, and she plays bass and sings. Oh, and don’t forget Dennis the drummer. With The Heart, The Product, The Machine, and The Asshole, the Beatings offer a fine post-punk EP. Now before the foreboding threat of tiny-little-man’s voice speak-singing in a bored tone over chorused-out electric guitars a la Slint or Modest Mouse (despite the brilliance of these bands) turns one away, it must be recognized that the Beatings have something pretty unique to give us. The first two songs, “American Standard” and “Organ Donor Regrets,” offer some interesting vocal styles, sounding vaguely like Calvin Johnson of Beat Happening, except here the singer sounds like he’s got really dark, thick eyebrows. There’s no other way to describe it, but it works very well over the mid-paced indie-ish sadrock soundscape. “Transvestite Bar” follows, with a beautiful organ and what sounds like a banjo. Here, however, the vocals falter a little, and come across as boring and repetitive. More dullness follows, with “This Year” sung by the aforementioned bass player. The rubbery guitar riff coupled with Erin’s seeming reluctance to sing a full line (“Have you seen… the time… flash by… so quick…”) gets annoying very quickly. “Sick Day” picks up exactly where the first two songs left off, coming in as perhaps the strongest song on the album. Even as the singer belts out, “I don’t think I’m going to drink tonight,” it’s obvious that he is. The closing song is a decent effort, but something is lacking; not a good choice with which to end the EP. Yet, all told, the Beatings are a talented band from Boston with a fresh sound in a genre going steadily blander.
The Beatings: http://thebeatings.com/