New releases from Beach Slang, My New Mixtape, and The Beatles 

Sound Advice

click to enlarge Beach Slang
  • Beach Slang

Beach Slang

A Loud Bash of Teenage Feelings


File next to: Replacements, Paul Westerberg

On one level, there's nothing wrong with wearing one's influences proudly; just be sure not to lose your individuality in the process. The very existence of Beach Slang — purveyors of high-octane punk-flavored rock with no end of memorable hooks — does force the question: Does the world really need two Replacements? More than a few times on A Loud Bash of Teenage Feelings, the trio steps over the line into overt stylistic appropriation: There's little about "Spin the Dial" that suggests it's anything other than an attempt to copy every musical quality that made the 'Mats so beloved. And "Punks in a Disco Bar" would have fit in nicely on Paul Westerberg's 13 Songs. It's hard to take issue with their musical quality, but Beach Slang should assert some of its own personality — assuming such a thing exists — into the proceedings. — BK

click to enlarge My New Mixtape
  • My New Mixtape

My New Mixtape

Alone Together Forever

self-released (vinyl only)

File next to: Owsley, Fountains of Wayne

Way back in 1968, in a combination artistic statement and poke-in-the-eye to their label, the Turtles recorded The Turtles Present the Battle of the Bands. The album featured 12 songs, each rendered in a different style, credited to a dozen separate bands. Now, working mostly alone, Virginia-based Jarret Nicolay has crafted a similar work in Alone Together Forever. His impossibly catchy tunes traverse a number of pop styles: powerpop, bubblegum, synthpop, singer-songwriter, pop-punk and other radio-ready subgenres. Often as not, the songs tumble into one another, not unlike the approach of Sloan's brilliant Commonwealth album from 2014. Nicolay's sweet voice suits his catchy confections quite well, but even when he rocks out — as on the giddily crunchy "Selfie Stick" — he's totally in command of the music, lyrics and arrangements. — BK

click to enlarge The Beatles
  • The Beatles

The Beatles

Live at the Hollywood Bowl


File next to: '60s Rolling Stones, '50s Elvis

The act you've known for all these years is back. While the Beatles split in 1969, their shadow has loomed upon the pop landscape ever since. Six CDs worth of Anthology material thrilled hardcore fans, but the last of those came out 20 years ago. Here, in tandem with Ron Howard's new documentary Eight Days a Week, comes the first-ever digital-era release of Live at the Hollywood Bowl, the compilation of Los Angeles concerts from 1964 and '65. For the original LP, producer George Martin cleaned things up as best he could (using available mid-'70s technology) but was clearly underwhelmed with the sonic quality. Working from a superior source tape, producer Giles Martin (George's son) put together this new version, including some bonus tracks. Now you can hear all the fuss, and — more importantly — what the fuss was all about. — BK


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