Posts Tagged ‘Slaughter Beach’

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Slaughter Beach, Dog, the melancholy folk-rock project led by Modern Baseball’s Jake Ewald, contributed a new song  recently called “Yellow Teeth” to the COVID-19 relief compilation Don’t Stand So Close To Me back in March. It was the band’s first new song since last year’s phenomenal Safe And Also No Fear. Today they’re sharing their second new song of 2020, again for charitable reasons.

“Fair Shot” captures that same resigned ennui and graceful melodic beauty that made last year’s album such a gem. “Now all the day our hairs turn gray, Earth moves painfully slow,” Ewald sings. “We all get one fair shot, but I think that I forgot if mine came and went long ago.” Yet this one seems focused on concerns specific to this year. Ewald begins with a scene that has become familiar in the social distancing: “Under the sun I hear my sister in the street call out to me/ They pulled the car by close so she could see her family.” And it ends on a tragic note that really sneaks up on you given the music’s loose, sighing sway.

Bandcamp is again forgoing its share of sales, and Slaughter Beach, Dog are redirecting all proceeds from “Fair Shot” Philly Bail Fund. Hear and buy the song below, and check out our recent interview with Ewald while you’re at it.

“Fair Shot” · Slaughter Beach Dog available through Lame-O Records 
Released on: 2020-06-05

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The third LP from Slaughter Beach, Dog; released on Lame-O Records on August 2nd, 2019. Across the previous Slaughter Beach, Dog albums, Jake Ewald has crafted his sound. It’s one that incorporates pop music, indie-rock, folk, and just the faintest dash of punk in order to create something that’s accessible but still artistically rich. With Safe And Also No Fear, the band’s third album, Ewald has abandoned his usual practices in service of creating something richer.

Where he once offered tightly woven vignettes about characters that mirrored the people in his life, Safe And Also No Fear now finds Jake joined by a full band, spinning out songs that push and expand Slaughter Beach, Dog’s sonic boundaries in subtle, evocative ways. Opener “One Down” leans on a pedestrian acoustic pattern that plods in one ear and out the other. “I dress up nice/I feel all right/I get loaded/And I come home late at night,” Ewald sings, without enough conviction to absolve the cliché. He falls into a half-spoken drawl on “Dogs,” a tender discourse on human friendships (“I know he always understands me/Even when I am being evasive”), but the stream-of-consciousness melody feels as aimless as another night at the neighborhood bar.

“Black Oak” achieves a more affecting result by ditching the vocal melody altogether: “His belly warm with drink/He leaned into the freeway in the night/Investigating exit ramps/Waiting for a sign,” Ewald recounts in an unnerving deadpan. The guitars drop out as the song’s protagonist meets tragedy: “They found him at the black oak/They dug him up last night.” A looping coda evokes the spaced-out lapse of highway hypnosis, as if the band were cruising those darkened roads themselves.

After two LPs performed entirely by himself, the beach must’ve grown lonely; on Safe and Also No Fear, Ewald’s third album, he’s joined by a full ensemble that includes Modern Baseball bassist Ian Farmer, his first official reunion with a former bandmate since their indefinite hiatus. Together, they dive into the pared-down folk-rock Ewald had just begun to explore on previous solo releases.

Recorded and produced by Jake Ewald, Ian Farmer, Nick Harris, and Zack Robbins at The Metal Shop Studio in Philadelphia, PA.

Slaughter Beach, Dog began as a cure for writer’s block — an outlet for Jake Ewald (of Modern Baseball) to experiment with styles that didn’t fit within the well-defined territory of his former project. Ewald quickly discovered a talent for this format and penned a collection of conversational tunes that float between folk, indie, punk and alternative rock. His ability to isolate and compile daily human interactions give vibrancy and value to these otherwise mundane experiences.

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Band Members 
Jake Ewald – Vocals, Guitar and Keys
Nick Harris – Guitar and Vocals
Ian Farmer – Bass
Zack Robbins – Drums