A Beacon School | Cola

 
a1887546533_10.jpg

Family Average: 3/7

Class is officially in session. Today’s lesson is all about Beacons. Where do they come from? What do they mean? What is in their closet? Oh wait sorry I have the wrong lesson plan today is actually all about the production, bottling, and selling of generic brand Cola. Dang I usually don’t let my tangents run that long…Anyway Cola is the latest release from NY’s very own A Beacon School. On the record they dive headfirst into a dreamy explosion of pop and other sounds. I can’t help but wonder what the rest of the family thought of all of this.

Look below and see what the family had to say.

 
 
the-family-reviews-Meg.png

As the album started I was really drawn back to wandering around the store Pacsun in the mall back in the glory days. It was giving me those vibes heavily. As the album goes on though it continues to get better. The guitar is often melodic, repetitive, and simple. That paired with gentle vocals creates a soothing sound.

He makes such pretty sounds with a guitar.  “It’s Late” stood out to me, it's a cool sound, I picture driving around a city at night with all the lights.

A pretty sound, a pretty album.

5/7

the-family-reviews-Dad.png

This is a nice collection of upbeat lighthearted tunes. A very familiar sound but unique at the same time, if you know what I mean. A stand out for me was “Cut Thru” With pleasant vocals and a nice melody, it was a fun little diddy and very catchy. Concerning “It's Late” I agree with Meghan and Meg.  It’s a groovy feel-good song but it could certainly be shorter, I found myself saying “okay let's wrap this up already”. Too much of a good thing I guess.

Although i did like this collection of sunny tunes, I did feel that most of the tracks were very safe and a bit too predictable. With this much talent and good vibrations, I personally believe that they could take some chances and let go a little bit more, stray away from the safe formula and see what happens. Maybe you would take us on a groovy trip, but we will never know until you try.

4/7 

 
the-family-reviews-Sean.png

Drive me home from the train station in the summer time with the top down while playing this album. I am still pretty hammered from the night before but I can confidently say that this album is just fine. At no point through this album did I ever say “Oh gosh what the heck turn this off”. That being said I never pushed my sunglasses down with one finger and did a wolf whistle. Yes sir this album did fine by me, but it did not mix up the germs in my undercarriage. 

Heavy electronic influenced Indie rock is what lives on this record. It reminds me a lot of that crazy wavy sound lots of bands were going for in the early 2010’s. Groups like Small Black, Washed Out, Animal Collective, They called it “Chill Wave”. Chill-Wave to the MAX! I am surprised more people do not know that phrase. It did not just disappear after the 2000’s. Its here hiding among us blending in with society. Your NEIGHBOR could be a chill wavey dude and you wouldn’t even know it!

Back to the record. Now I don’t mean to sound like a weenie (despite everything I say all the time) but I am afraid that the record dips its toes into a lot of places where I would rather see them stick their whole leg in. There are a good number of different influences coming into this record. As mentioned before Chill wave, is here, Dream Pop, lots of cues form the Jangle Pop movement. It’s all done well, but like I said before, a little shallow. They don’t feel completely filled out. These fellas have heaps of talent, and they show a good amount of restraint on this album. Maybe in future things they do it could stand to inject something for me to grab on to.

3/7

 
the-family-reviews-Meg2.png

Good old dream pop. I do and always will like you. So by default, A Beacon School feels right at home on my various playlists. However, I feel like these songs function more as filler pieces to round out a list of more solid and involved tunes.

To be frank, I got bored. Specifically during the six-minute long, “It’s Late.” (It’s not late...It’s just long.) I was quickly granted some respite with the 1:25 long track “Heat Wave,” but was then equally underwhelmed by its twinkling synthesizers. The tracks definitely just underwhelmed me across the board;  lyrically I couldn’t decipher much and something about it all felt glitchy -- as if the songs themselves couldn’t quite decide what they wanted to be, let alone say. They frantically flit around, popping in and out of bits of vocal and varied instrumentals, and fail to hold my attention.  

I didn’t dislike it nor did I feel compelled to turn it off, I just didn’t feel particularly engaged. Perhaps I was just caught up on the identifier of “dream pop,” as there is something too stable and solid about the handling of this music that it feels wrong to be in the airy dream pop world.  All in all, it’s steady but slow going. There are a few moments where I am able to adequately/appropriately/enjoyably just zone out -- as I am typically want to do when listening to the “dream pop” genre -- but it quickly hits a plateau and I am left looking for something else.

3/7 

 
 
Sean Maldjian