“Bill’s Picks” is a new column we’ll feature right here on our blog each week featuring a new release selected and reviewed by our smartest employee, William Boyle–known as Bill to most folks. Bill is from Brooklyn, NY but lives in Oxford now. He is the author of the novel GRAVESEND and the story collection DEATH DON’T HAVE NO MERCY. You can find him behind the counter at the record store on Sundays and Mondays. You can buy his books at Square Books in Oxford.
The inaugural selection for “Bill’s Picks” is the new record from Beach Slang, The Things We Do To Find People Who Feel Like Us released by Polyvinyl Records.
Here’s Bill’s pick:
Beach Slang’s The Things We Do To Find People Who Feel Like Us is a wild dream, one where I’m a kid again, getting wrecked by songs I’m hearing for the first time but have somehow always known. “I feel most alive when I’m listening to every record that hits harder than the pain,” James Snyder sings on “Ride the Wild Haze.” The titles tell the full story: It’s important to make bad art before you get to the good, to have a head full of weirdo ideas, to be a misfit, to find a safe place with other hard luck kids, other awkward throwaways. These songs vibe ‘90s in the best way. Not retro fake. Snyder, in his 40s, has mainlined The ‘Mats. He’s got that Westerberg-like ability to make the simple sacred. He’s been broken and has had runs of rotten luck, but now shit’s good and he hasn’t lost track of what’s truly important: love and honesty and gratitude and purity and those records that switched your brain. Repetition of words like young, alive, heart, love, loud, wild, and free are touchstones as Snyder drills into the deep darkness to a core of confused magic. These songs get into your blood, and—no hyperbole here—this record can save you if you’ll let it. Get safe, the call to arms goes, feel young and alive, turn your heart up. What you first loved about music, Snyder’s saying, the nameless thing you go to songs for, that’s what really matters. This LP is concise as hell, no fat whatsoever, stripped to the bone, and it hits hard the way the best punk albums do. A beautiful assault. Even my son, four- years-old and tough on the music I’m into, digs this one. “This I like,” he said to me the other day, bopping his head, as I played “Too Late To Die Young” for the fifth time in twenty minutes. Turn The Things We Do To Find People Who Feel Like Us up loud, brothers and sisters. Let it save you. -Bill Boyle
We have the limited, purple vinyl version for sale in the shop.