Dislocation and anxiety course through Michael Beach’s fourth solo album, endowing both his woolly guitar rockers and thoughtful piano ballads with an undercurrent of dread. While that’s a relatively familiar feeling in light of the past year, those doomy vibes lend thematic heft to the Melbourne-based songwriter’s cathartic approach.
Right from the opening ‘Irregardless’, which announces its clanging tunefulness for nearly two and a half minutes before Beach finally begins to sing, he seems to be circling the idea of our hopes being unceremoniously dashed. He sings about “dreaming of an imaginary past” and “oblivion calling you by your name”, while advising the subject to “walk with the pride of the dispossessed”.
Beach knows a thing or two about fighting to belong. After discovering Melbourne’s bountiful music scene while on exchange during his final year of uni, the American expat split his time between Australia and San Francisco. Even after deciding that he wanted to make Melbourne his home, he had to string together a long series of visas; at one point, it looked like he might not ever be able to come back Down Under. Beach has since attained citizenship, allowing him to pursue his solo work as well as his bands Brain Drugs and Shovels – not to mention touring stints in Thigh Master and an Aussie incarnation of Nebraska singer/guitarist David Nance’s backing band.
That intense busyness – and the background noise of bureaucratic red tape – might explain why it’s been four years since Beach’s previous solo album, 2017’s ‘Gravity/Repulsion’. Recorded in both Melbourne and the San Francisco area, the new record taps backing players on either side of that geographical divide, from Thigh Master’s Matthew Ford and Innez Tulloch to US songwriter/producer Kelley Stoltz and Melbourne guitarist Chris Smith. Meanwhile, Beach’s longtime collaborator Peter Warden shares drumming duties with Utrillo Kushner from Californian heavy-psych act Comets On Fire. .... read more at NME.com
Michael Beach - Dream Violence (Goner) If I was still working in a record store, I would hand Beach's fourth album Dream Violence to every single die hard Neil Young fan who has convinced themselves that no good music has been released since the 1970s, and insist they take it home. Not unlike Young, Michael Beach is a master songwriter, able to make a piano weep, a guitar brood on 11, and a voice who tells you the anguished and honest truth. For you impatient types, this offers nearly 40 minutes of legendary classic rock without having to wait decades to see if it makes the AOR radio station cut. (Turntable Report Blog)