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In Reward of Seashore Slang, 2015’s Simplest, Most Trusty Rock Band


If you’ve ever driven from Fortress Wayne, Indiana, to Green Bay, Wisconsin, I’m sorry. For each person else: The six-hour sojourn is easy mainly of awful industrial towns, rust-coloured grain fields, and Kwik Journeys populated by exhausting-eyed other folks taking a gaze to numb the wretchedness of day-to-day existence with Huge Gulp-dimension sodas and fistfuls of beef jerky. But that’s now now not how it appears to James Alex. To him, this patch of parkway could maybe as smartly be Allege Avenue, Hearth’s Toll roador the avenue where Paul Westerberg desired to meet earlier than peeling out in “I Will Dare.” For Alex, right here is the hasten of his desires.

“I’m dazzling cartwheeling via this tour. It’s superior,” Alex tells me. I’ve dazzling reached him by cellphone at a roadside restaurant in Kenosha. It’s early September, and Alex’s band — a relentlessly upbeat punk-rock quartet from Philadelphia called Seashore Slang — is within the center of a short urge of dates in strengthen of Tommy Stinson, the bass participant from the Replacements, one of Alex’s all-time accepted bands.

“I’m flipping out,” he says, in a tone that straight away conveys an individual that’s indeed flipping the fuck out. “Overjoyed beyond explanation, ultimate? It’s like — it feels surreal, you recognize? Within the precise manner one thing can in actuality feel surreal.”

What’s inflicting Alex to flip out at this very moment is his first outing to the Twin Cities, the Replacements’s dwelling defective, where Seashore Slang will wrap up this short urge in about a days. Alex is already plotting a native tour of basic sites — the Let It Be rental, scattered clubs where the ’Mats played, a recount of verbalize tracks where some publicity photos were staged. Later, I recommend checking out the CC Club, the dive bar in south Minneapolis that inspired “Right here Comes a Traditional.”

“I’m light fully a kid with, like, posters on his wall,” Alex says of his rock and roll obsession. “It in actuality is basically the most productive part that I’ve ever subscribed to. I’m dazzling all in. I hiss within the identical manner while you’re a history buff and likewise you glide to where some infamous battle took set, you dazzling know you’re on this part where you’re meant to be.”

What’s the truth is surreal lately for Alex is his now now not really success. Shaped within the aftermath of Alex’s old band, Weston, breaking apart for ultimate in 2010, Seashore Slang started off the truth is as a passion for its 41-year-faded frontman. Touring for virtually about 20 years with Weston failed to set apart the relaxation better than a diminutive cult following, so Alex studied to be a visual artist and bashed out tall-hearted rock songs in his spare time. Alex hadn’t given up his rock desires, but steady existence required that he compartmentalize them.

In 2014, Seashore Slang set apart out two seven-inches, Who Would Ever Desire Anything So Broken? and Low-charge Thrills on a Silly Discontinuance Avenue. The reference sides were every so frequently recent — Alex has mentioned that he aimed for a candy set between “the Replacements, Swervedriver, Jesus and Mary Chain, all that stuff that I grew up on that affected me.” Whereas recorded on a punk-rock budget, the EPs aspired to the wall-of-guitars manufacturing form of ’90s alt-rock, a immense sound to envision the grandiose, borderline corny sentiments of Alex’s lyrics.

Thematically, Seashore Slang slots subsequent to bands like the Defend Genuine and Japandroids, which were also fashioned by indie lifers who didn’t acquire a large viewers till they were smartly past the age of 30. Love these bands, Seashore Slang makes entertaining, aspirational song for ageing rock followers taking a gaze to reconcile their raucous narrative collections with the mundane responsibilities of adulthood. But whereas the Defend Genuine and Japandroids grudgingly accept the passage of time — their songs set formative years as a trial by fire that exists in existence’s rearview — Alex light very mighty pertains to the level of view of a teen.

Snatch “Filthy Luck,” the leadoff observe from Who Would Ever Desire Anything So Broken?, where Alex refers to “kids like us” over elephantine vitality chords and hyperactive drum beats. “Prick your name gentle across my lungs / I are searching for to breathe you till I’m numb,” he sings, clinging to the display demanding despite the lyric’s youthful naivety.

“That’s light the actual person I am,” Alex insists. ”We’ve heard it via the ages — age is a series of numbers. But these clichés, I in actuality subscribe to that. Now we contain these cultural expectations that you just reach a sure age and likewise you’re imagined to safe serious or your retirement financial savings is imagined to be extra significant than your desires. I’ve by no components subscribed to that, and I the truth is contain the checking legend to level to it.”

Seashore Slang’s debut LP is out this week. It’s called The Issues We Discontinuance To Rep Individuals Who In actuality feel Love Us, and it doubles down on the preceding EPs, amping up the slickness of the guitars and the melodrama of the lyrics. Romanticized depictions of formative years as a existence-or-death battleground were piece of rock custom from Phil Spector to Bruce Springsteen to Event Rock. But Alex’s specialty is writing screamingly emotive rock songs about what it feels prefer to listen to to all of these other screamingly emotive rock songs. Can you blame him for also desirous to are living internal of these tunes?

“Gape man, we are able to’t all manufacture a living playing guitars, ultimate? I indicate, I safe that,” Alex says, pushing the fuel pedal on his mile-a-minute patter. “But it undoubtedly’s like, frigid, so advance dwelling from the job after which be aware the assets you place that feed the coolest substances of you, now now not dazzling the paying the bills piece of you. I’m light leaping around on a stage like a inebriated loon 60 to 70 p.c of the year. You would possibly per chance seemingly place it, too.”


From the fundamental time I heard The Issues We Discontinuance To Rep Individuals Who In actuality feel Love Us, I knew Seashore Slang used to be my recent accepted band. I used to be already partial to the EPs and had written about them enthusiastically. I also investigated Weston’s lend a hand catalogue, so I used to be aware that Alex’s sparkling had been honed over the direction of a long time. (Sample Weston song titles: “Teenage Worship Affair,” “Heartbreak Sandwich,” “Emotions Stupit Emotions.”) But The Issues We Discontinuance straight away felt like a culmination. Alex had precisely uncover what he had been searching for since the early ’90s — a combine of nostalgia and forward-taking a gaze optimism communicated via fearlessly provocative riffs and florid clichés redeemed by the all-in conviction of a simply believer. All straight away, I seen I had been searching for the identical part. So contain hundreds other folks I know. Each particular person to whom I the truth is contain instructed Seashore Slang has wound up loving this band. Alex has it appears cornered the market on guileless rock song.

The Issues We Discontinuance To Rep Individuals Who In actuality feel Love Us abounds with means pitfalls, moments when the spell could maybe very smartly be broken by a lyric or musical flourish that’s merely corny moderately than transcendently corny. I hiss Seashore Slang will elicit groans from other folks that aren’t on the band’s wavelength it is now now not relevant what. But for me, because the narrative stepped forward on my first hear, the sense of exhilaration grew, from the sweetly sighing backing vocals of “Imperfect Artwork & Weirdo Solutions” to the intensely rasping chorus of “Traipse the Wild Haze” to the enlighten feedback of “Soiled Lights.” When I heard Alex whisper, “If rock and roll is perilous, how advance I in actuality feel so safe in it?” in “I Damage Guitars,” I felt a lump in my throat. My godI idea. He’s in actuality pulling this off.

Talking to Alex prompted a sense of relief, because I feared that seemingly this used to be all a collection apart-on. His album had turn out to be a safe rental for me to profess all of the beliefs that I had stuffed down into the nether areas of my coronary heart. Seashore Slang embodies virtually about each this form of cherished ideals: Earnestness is good. Bombast is good. Rock and roll is the precise. Getting inebriated on the total is a noble act. Embarrassing your self publicly is righteous goodbye as you’re passionate. You the truth is could maybe furthermore be born to urge, goodbye as you don’t dwell believin’ in Siamese desires. The Issues We Discontinuance To Rep Individuals Who In actuality feel Love Us validates all of this hokum in 30-minute intervals.

Loving Seashore Slang appears as if going out on a limb, so it used to be good to gaze that Alex deserves that belief. In steady existence as on narrative, Alex talks like Paul Stanley introducing “Strutter” to a stadium stuffed with 40,000 wannabe dreamers. Taking note of him appears as if flying goodbye as you don’t imprint down.


The following time I seek the advice of with Alex, it’s earlier than Seashore Slang’s display at the Turf Club in St. Paul. I textual affirm material him after I safe to the venue, and he tells me to take grasp of a beer with him at the bar.

“My body will consistently safe to that level, where it’s that ultimate amount of buzz,” Alex says between swigs. I take a further tall gulp from my beer in explain to reach that level faster.

Seashore Slang hit scandalous online page online visitors on the trend to the display, so the Replacements sightseeing tour used to be sadly scuttled. There used to be most productive time for a fleet seek the advice of with to the Let It Be rental — the band wasn’t authorized to climb on the roof, but they did snap an ungodly amount of images.

“It used to be like the greater Graceland,” Alex enthuses.

We chat aimlessly for a short time, after which Alex brings up his first punk-rock display: the Ramones at Airport Tune Hall in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Alex used to be 12.

“I used to be, like, a diminutive bit muffin, a diminutive bit kid, and I walked in, and it felt like outer rental to me,” he says. “Lawful all these tall punks in bomber jackets, and the spikes, the total deal. When the Ramones played, I by no components seen or felt the relaxation love it. I’m getting knocked down, and these tall punks were picking me up with these tall smiles on their faces, like, We got one other one. , to handle this part going forward. There used to be one thing in actuality ravishing about it.”

An hour later, Seashore Slang is on stage, the center band on a bill at a membership in an strange town. In the initiating, the indifference is palpable. But Alex doesn’t appear to recommendations. The hasten is what matters — the destination is gravy. So, he stops earlier than the second verse of “Imperfect Artwork & Weirdo Solutions” to take a celebratory pull from his beer. Then he whips his guitar recklessly around his torso. Then he hurls his torso to the ground. He’s winning over the crew. By the demolish of the recount, they’re screaming for added.

“I don’t know why each person isn’t in a band and [doesn’t get] inebriated every night time,” Alex says to his latest followers. “It’s fucking heaven, man.”


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