The Things We Do to Find People Who Feel Like Us
It’s not as if there’s a hole left to be filled in the realm of rollicking, melodic punk, but Beach Slang’s powerful debut squeezes in anyway. The Things We Do to Find People Who Feel Like Us is the kind of album that acts as both homage and new decree: The kids are all right and they’ve been listening to The Replacements and Jawbreaker in equal measure. For all its rearview sentimentalism, The Things We Do is a work of progress, too. Frontman James Alex has bloomed into the angsty bard of pop-punk, transcending any stigma such a label implies on beautifully arranged rockers like “Bad Art & Weirdo Ideas,” a somehow perfect symbiosis of Alvvays’ dream-pop and Paul Westerberg grit. Similarly, “Too Late to Die Young” pulls string-led melodies over bright acoustic guitar, not unlike the foundation for The Replacements’ classic “Here Comes a Regular.” There’s a reason this Philly band’s album is popping up all over year-end best-of lists. It’s the soundtrack to a millennial brigade coming into their own.