Beaches – She Beats

Melbourne quartet Beaches produced an excellent debut album five years ago that reinforced the continued relevance of creative guitar music. Thankfully the group have again convened to collectively pen a new batch of free-ranging, sonically psych-imbued songs that highlight their ability to compose songs rich in melody across an expansive musical terrain.

In some ways Beaches are an instrumental band. Sure, they have vocals on a number of tracks but really they best serve as another layer of notes and melodies to bolster the intertwining guitars and drums around them. The real delight in She Beats is the way they balance the more straightforward jangly guitar pop of songs like ‘Dune’, the irrepressible Chills-esque ‘Send Them Way’ and the Pixies’ surf (alt) rock of ‘Runaway’ with outstanding psych/drone workouts like ‘Distance’ and ‘Granite Snake’. Both songs feature the stellar guest guitar work of krautrock master Michael Rother (Neu!, Harmonia) and both succeed by virtue of the intensive rhythm section and the avoidance of vague noodling, a hallmark of the best space rock.

She Beats is another strong addition to Beaches discography, an album for all seasons via its masterful interpretations of dark and light textures and simply just a great hook-laden psychedelic rock record.