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Mace & Crown | April 22, 2018

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Monarch Music Minute: Grouplove, Token and Beach Slang

Monarch Music Minute: Grouplove, Token and Beach Slang
Lindsey Lanham
Staff Writer

‘Big Mess’ – Grouplove 💿💿💿💿

Grouplove has brought back their wired, eccentric feel on their new album “Big Mess.” Known for quirky lyrics and standout chord progressions, Grouplove is kind of like the weird kid at school everyone seems to love. “Big Mess” is a perfect reflection of how the world views this band.

Three years after the release of “Spreading Rumors,” featuring the hit single “Ways to Go,” Grouplove returned more powerful than ever. “Big Mess” was released on Sept. 9, and in the natural, Grouplove way, the album is a celebration of life.

“Big Mess” starts off with track “Welcome to Your Life,” opening the album up for the fans and immediately including them in the music. Lines like “you’re such a big mess / and I love you” make the listener feel like they have a connection with the band.

Other buoyant tracks include “Do You Love Someone?” and “Good Morning,” both songs showcasing the unique vocals of Zucconi and Hannah Hooper. The song “Cannonball” brings a rock feel to the album, demonstrating how much range the band truly has.

The album takes a turn with the track “Enlighten Me,” which becomes a soulful ballad about broken hearts and uncertainty. With lyrics like “but I don’t feel my life is real / I’m on the fence with common sense,” the song is sorrowful, yet relatable.

An explosion of sound and color, Grouplove has reminded us just how fun-loving they can be. The album shares optimistic feelings, something that everyone could use after some of the things that have happened this past year. “Big Mess” is big fun and doesn’t take things too seriously.

‘Eraser Shavings’ – Token 💿💿💿💿

Getting his start at only 17, Token is already establishing himself in the hip-hop world. With his first full-length album, “Eraser Shavings,” Token is about to make himself one of the most talked-about names in the industry.

Token’s painfully honest lyrics mixed with layers of intense beats and synth add-ons make his sound interesting and fun to listen to. Growing up, Token was told that he wasn’t able to think like other kids and was put in special education classes for his learning disabilities. Now, he has proven that nobody is going to hold him back.

“Eraser Shavings” was released on Sept. 23. After many years of submitting songs to rap competitions hoping someone would give him a shot, his music is now on iTunes and Spotify.

“Happiness” is his hit single off of the album. It’s a song about the kids in class who don’t get attention, and those who may be abused or bullied. He discusses his own battles with depression and the struggles he’s faced talking to his family about his issues.

“Waist Down” is a more upbeat track. The outro even includes a conversation between Token and a woman about how ridiculous the song actually is. It’s more of a radio-ready song and gives the listener something light-hearted to listen to after his heavier music.

Even though “Eraser Shavings” is only his first full length, Token is already making great strides with his music. He’s proven how talented he is with his quick and sincere lyrics and has defied the odds by proving everyone wrong. Token is not a name that will be forgotten any time soon.

‘A Loud Bash of Teenage Feelings’ – Beach Slang 💿💿💿

Less than a year after the release of their freshman album, “The Things We Do to Find People Who Feel Like Us,” Beach Slang is back with their latest release, “A Loud Bash of Teenage Feelings.”

Released on Sept. 23, Beach Slang has compiled an album that is dedicated to the fans. “A Loud Bash of Teenage Feelings” is a personal reveal of what’s been going through the band’s head for the past 11 months. Even though the lyrics are more than sympathetic, the album is presented with raw vocals and loud uproar.

As personal as it may be, “Loud Bash” is a loud mess of noise. A trademark punk-rock sound is filled with brash guitar riffs and stiff drum beats, yet with Beach Slang it’s as if there’s no direction. If garage grunge is what you’re looking for, you’ve come to the right place.

Opening track “Future Mix Tape for the Art Kids” starts the album off with that classic punk-rock feeling. Lead singer and guitarist James Alex takes a bold step with autotune. The effect makes his voice sound far away and like static, which only adds to the harsh punk sound.

With hit single “Punks in a Disco Bar,” Beach Slang has taken on a more radio-ready sound. It is easily the most relatable song on the album, with lyrics referring to adolescent angst and the hardships of growing up.

“A Loud Bash of Teenage Feelings” is, well, just that. A simple punk narrative backed by angst and raw emotion. Beach Slang has shown that their throwback punk anthems are going nowhere fast, and as harsh as it sounds, at least it’s earnest.

💿 — Face palm.
💿💿 — Eh…
💿💿💿 — We’re getting there.
💿💿💿💿 — I’ll listen to it twice, even.
💿💿💿💿💿 — Hell yes!