Review -Beachmaster – Love Lake


By Brandon Henry

Forget the purified waters of Lake Minnetonka, do yourself a favor and dive head first into the sunny sounds of Love Lake.  On Beachmaster, their second album, these guys take over where Weezer left off, combining simple, catchy songs with multi-layered, jammed out riff rock that’s awash in summery reverb.  Featuring songs about great landladies, bicycles, and chasing love, each filled with memorable hooks and swooning ooos and ahhhs that make Beachmaster a great summer album.

What makes Beachmaster such a strong record is that it does what great rock albums are supposed to do.  Rock.  Every song has contagious energy, building its sound toward that final rushing climax, letting the music flow and what comes out is pure gold.  There’s not one dud on this record.  From the opening track “Dreamland” with a standard-sounding Americana riff, that quickly diverges and draws you in.  From there, songs like “High School Fool,” “College Street” and the Jim Noir-esque “Falling Garden” burst with energy and dreamy pop riffs.  It’s a magnificent blend of indie-pop and classic rock of the ‘70s.

The aforementioned song about a bicycle, “Lost” is much more than that.  It begins as a 90s-ish grunge song, that erupts into a chorus of big guitars and chiming bells reminiscent of the Pixies’ “Monkey Gone to Heaven.”

If you weren’t convinced by the first 5 tracks that Love Lake is a band that likes to play, the surf-instrumental “Milkshake” proves it without a shadow of a doubt.  Opening with a dirty-bass groove that digs a foundation for thundering drums to fill the breaks as guitars swirl in a sea of feedback.

The gems on Beachmaster are highlighted by the epic tune “Neon Lights.” The extended jam buzzes and hums, builds and bursts over a catchy hook that sounds like what you’d listen to on a late night drive back from a long night out.  You can space out to this one, but you’re quickly shaken back to musical reality by the fun closer, “Brooklyn Avenue.”  Remember The Rentals?  These guys must have been “Friends with P” because “Brooklyn Avenue” sounds like a lost track from The Return of the Rentals, but it’s Love Lake’s final farewell on this glorious album.

There are albums that come along once in a blue moon and grab me out of nowhere.  Love Lake’s Beachmaster certainly does that and is my non-stop summer album of 2013.

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