socal sounds: beach goons

Written by Natalie Spina

Since the release of their debut album Boisad in 2016, Beach Goons have been steadily on the rise as they’ve gained a coast-to-coast buzz. Born out of the San Diego scene, frontman Pablo Cervantez has led the band away from surf punk stereotypes – out of the garages and onto the national stage. Amongst their growing popularity, they released two singles and their second album, hoodratscumbags, in 2018. Lineup changes throughout their career have led to the best of the band being brought out by current members, Chris Moran on drums and David Orozco on bass.

Integrating sounds from quoted influences like the Descendents and Chicano Batman, Beach Goons can be described as a melting pot of punk, surf and Chicano rock. Boisad gravitates more towards original surf sound tropes, heavy with reverb and bright guitar tones. On the other hand, hoodratscumbags shows a departure from the constraints of typical surf music, featuring an exploration in a variety of not only lyrical content, but instrumental maturity. This instrumental experimentation can be found on a few tracks, like “Artificial Flowers” and “Chillón,”- absent of any vocal features. The sophomore album is also where fans can see the amalgamation of the band’s cultural influences. Songs like “Chunti” are delivered beautifully in Spanish. To non-speakers, this is an easier chance to pay attention to the melodic and musical qualities in the song, made not only by the instruments but in the syllabic and rhythmic patterns of the words.

To kick off 2019, Beach Goons has recently released a new music video for their single, “Hunny Bunnies,” featuring the band performing the song with varying backgrounds amongst an array of items that make the atmosphere feel like a casual performance. Cervantes told Altpress that he designed the video to match his preferred graphic design visuals – the geometric layout and primary color schemes seem to give a nod to the modernist art movement led by Piet Mondrian. Musically, “Hunny Bunnies” encompasses the sound they’ve created for themselves so far. Serving as a microcosm for Beach Goons, it features those bright guitar riffs, fuzzy vocals and ends on a rare, but always appreciated, ripping bass solo.

Contrasting the video for “Hunny Bunnies” is the music video for previous single “Vatos Tristes.” Both videos, put out by GRNDVW Music, feature a performance from the band, though “Hunny Bunnies” comes across as more sterile and curated. On the other hand, “Vatos Tristes” depicts a live concert of the band, in what looks like a backyard house show – bodies clashing, lights blaring – the typical and familiar setting of scene shows. The differences between the two videos suggests a confident declaration that though the band will make some decisions in favor of artistic experimentation, the raw spirit of a tight-knit music community will remain.

Having featured on last year’s lineup for SWMRS’ annual “Uncool Halloween” show, Beach Goons proved themselves worthy of a nationwide tour with The Regrettes to support SWMRS for their 2019 Berkeley’s On Fire U.S. Tour, showcasing the California rock scene to the rest of the nation. During this tour, they’ll be returning to San Diego on March 28th, and playing the heart of LA at the Belasco Theater on May 3rd.

Featured Photo via Primary Suspect

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