The Beatings have become local heroes – not quite as explosive but, in the same proud vein of Boston success stories Pixies or Mighty Mighty Bosstones, meriting rave reviews from the elders at The New York Times to the more community-friendly music enthusiasts at The Phoenix. This quintet’s new, and much anticipated, album is true to their alt-rock sound but with a little less noise. Think: Interpol with …And You Will Know Us by the Trail of the Dead. It was hard for me to think I could like anything after the shrieking flair of “Heavy Metal” on their 2001 full-length album Italiano. But, The Beatings have proven me wrong, first with Holding on to Hand Grenades, and now with Late Season Kids – due to release September 15 on Midriff Records.
Late Season Kids is a mature album that skillfully incorporates the raw power of their earlier recordings with a dulcet sophistication. Tracks like “Ways and Means” echo with moony and lulling vocals like those of Mazzy Star, but this steely track also has a subtle, dissonant drumming that seemingly draws from the early influences of Sonic Youth and Dinosaur Jr. “Scapegoats” offers an Ian McCulloch hazy croon that, despite The Beatings recent cross-over to domesticity in their personal lives (as their band blog so proudly states), would still appeal to fans of post-punk despondence. And, for those looking for a fix of the slow tempo waltz, low talking, and sweet melancholy of The Magnetic Fields, “Dreams of the Waking” is the cure (ha, okay, I didn’t even mean for that one to sneak in there).
See what all the fuss is about and do what you can to make it to Great Scott September 12 for The Beatings album release show.