Photo by Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUTX
Philly’s Beach Slang is made up of a bunch of rock ‘n’ roll lifers, and it sounds like it. The band members are in their forties, but they play with a teen-like intensity. “I’m still absolutely a kid with, like, posters on his wall,” frontman James Alex admitted to Grantland last year. The members’ slow rise to indie-level stardom mirrors their music’s predominant message: life is hard, but you can keep at it, one power chord at a time.
Beach Slang’s biggest influence is the Replacements, another punk-adjacent band that turned hard-luck tales into a beautiful art form. The Replacements represented glorious failure; Beach Slang represents dogged persistence. But they both wind up in the same place: rock ‘n’ roll that feels do-or-die; rock ‘n’ roll that feels like a clubhouse with all your best friends. “Hard Luck Kid” is a call-to-arms, and that club is accepting membership.
“Hard Luck Kid,” recorded live in Studio 1A, appears on The Things We Do To Find People Who Feel Like Us, out now via Polyvinyl.