Live Review

SXSW 2010: Beach Fossils, Wave Rooftop, Austin

Beach Fossils make punky poppy surf rock, and my, oh my, is it so fun to dance to.

When Beach Fossils take to the rooftop stage at Waves, it is immediately clear that they, like many bands these days, are riding the wave of 1960’s surf rock phenomena. People will ascribe Beach Boys-esque sounds to them, and certainly some of the same can be heard in their music.

The twangy guitars and the sweet yearning voice are both present and correct, but Beach Boys-eque they are not. Beach Fossils have an edgier sound, a more stripped down version of surf rock that could only be acquired in a post surf rock world where punk rock has taken root; their stage show is the best evidence of this.

The band is made up of four Brooklynites (by birth or by choice) who take up very little room on stage: two guitarists, a bassist, and a drummer who plays on two floor toms bouncing around in the space left where the rest of the drum set should be. However sparse they are physically, they make up for it in droves with their stage presence.

Having run into technical difficulties, the showcase is running a bit late and by the time Beach Fossils begin to set up the crowd are already getting anxious. Questions like ‘Have Beach Fossils played yet?’ float around in the air. However, as soon as they arrive on stage and begin to play the crowd settle in, and start boogying away, very very happily. Beach Fossils make punky poppy surf rock, and my, oh my, is it so fun to dance to.

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