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The Ultimate Basement Show: Why Gainesville’s FEST is so important to the Philly DIY scene

Philly's Restorations is headed to Gainesville's FEST for the fifth time, and timed it's new album release around it | photo via restorations.tumblr.com
Philly’s Restorations is headed to Gainesville’s FEST for the fifth time, and timed it’s new album release around it | photo via restorations.tumblr.com

Some musicians route their tours around it. Others plan major releases to coincide with it. Others still will travel thousands of miles to play a one-off show at it, turn right around and head home.

The annual FEST in Gainesville, Florida, has become something of a DIY scene mecca over its 13-year existence. A series of punk concerts housed in a handful of venues over the course of a weekend where, as legend has it, the University of Florida’s football team is always out on an away game, THE FEST – usually written in all-caps, but not for any particular reason – is a huge draw, especially for artists from the Philadelphia region. Continue reading →

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Local punk band Beach Slang gets raw and loud on their debut EP, announce they’ll be playing Fest 13

Beach Slang
Beach Slang / via bandcamp

Beach Slang recently released a raw four song EP entitled Who Would Ever Want Anything So Broken?, which you can stream below and pick up on vinyl in Spring via Dead Broke Records. While this band kind of seemed to pop up out of nowhere, its members are no strangers to the Philadelphia scene. Vocalist and guitarist James Snyder is a member of the inactive but memorable pop punk band Weston. With Ed McNulty from Crybaby on bass and JP Flexner from Ex Friends on drums, this is a sort of a local Philly supergroup. The EP was recorded with Dave Downham at Gradwell House Recording Studio in Haddons Height, NJ and mastered at Armstrong Studios by Stephen Egerton, known for his work with The Descendants.

Beach Slang’s debut EP is nothing short of breakout. Snyder authors some amazing lyrics for grungy hearts that find themselves in love in “Filthy Luck”. To me, the line “Carve your name soft across my lungs / I want to breathe you until I’m numb / We’re not loved, well, hardly anyway / with filthy luck in such a filthy haze” speaks to the dingy basement scene that has sparked so many relationships by chance.

These lyrics seem to describe the lives of modern day punks, with cleverly written takes like “The kids are still alright / We’re just too high to fight” or “Who called the cops? / Whatever, we’ll never get caught”. Delivering the avidly truthful and hopeful lyrics with catchy melodies and harmonies, Beach Slang nailed the vocals. The EP’s raw indie sound is textured with distortion and feedback alongside the fast-paced rhythms and punk mentality. The three piece band blasts through catchy riffs and drum fills, with trudging bass and texturing feedback at the best moments.  Definitely check out “Filthy Luck” and “Punk or Lust”.

Beach Slang also announced they’ll be heading down to Fest 13 this upcoming Fall. Check out the insane lineup and get tickets here.