If you weren’t aware, one of the co-vocalists from Modern Baseball has a solo project called Slaughter Beach, Dog. I’m kicking myself that I didn’t listen to them sooner. The album keeps the same angsty emo/alternative style as Modern Baseball, but just slows the pace down a bit.
The first song, “Phoenix”, has no chorus, and the verses don’t have anything to do with each other. In theory, the song should sound really scattered and weird, but it doesn’t. The way Jake Ewald sings paired with the simplistic instrumentals just sounds very relaxing and could easily lull someone to sleep.
“Pretty O.K.” is the first song on the album with a chorus, and it pretty much sums up the theme for the entire album. “And everything was fine/ And everything was good/ And everything was pretty O.K.” Electric guitar is introduced halfway through the song, right before Ewald sings about how his friend Louis taught him to play guitar.
Another song I really like is “Sleepwalking”. It style is slightly different from what I’ve come to expect, kind of evocative of Joyce Manor. Ewald sings the beginning and end of some of the vocals off beat, which sounds really cool. Plus, I really liked the ending lyrics: “Wake up! You’re looking like you’re fast asleep / You’re walking like you’re sleepwalking / You’re talking like you’re sleeptalking.”
I was really excited to hear the song “Buttercup”, because I thought it would be a love song related to The Princess Bride. Sadly, it was not, but it was still pretty good. The last part of the song is about exes, and one of them doesn’t understand how they moved on so soon after the relationship, when they felt so deeply about the other person. It’s a topic that I don’t feel is touched on much in music, so it was really interesting to hear.
The album ends with “Acolyte”, which was the single released before the album. It’s about wanting to travel and get married, but being too young to. “Man, it cuts like a dull knife / When you’re young and you’re told / ‘Makes sense when you’re older’ / Darling, let’s get old.”
I might have to retract my previous statement, I think this is the main theme for Slaughter Beach, Dog, as well as Modern Baseball. Overall the albums are just playful and fun, but there’s some suprisingly deep thoughts scattered throughout. And that’s probably why they work so well as a college alternative band, because people in their late teens and early twenties are the same way.
Overall, I really enjoyed this album, and appreciate that it will help tide me over until the next Moden Baseball album.
By: Monica Brich