Dustin Payseur certainly took his time with Beach Fossils’ forthcoming sophomore effort Clash The Truth. For a project so tied up constructing simple, nostalgic dream pop songs you’d think he’d be approaching Segall levels of prolificacy, but it’s been almost three years since Beach Fossils’ Captured Tracks debut and two since their intervening EP What A Pleasure. Any confusion was dispelled when Payseur described his meticulous writing and recording process for the followup. 74 songs were written and 14 made the cut, and he took the time to cut those 14 in a proper studio instead of continuing the home-recording streak that often defined the project.
Here we have the latest fruit of that painstaking editing process. “Generational Synthetic,” which lyrically centers on Payseur’s disillusion with corporate sponsorship of art, confirms the more driving tone we first heard on “Careless.” Payseur has done a lot of talking about his punk roots and how that has effected the new album. And while “ Generational Synthetic” still features the jangle Beach Fossils fans have grown accustomed to, it’s certainly funneled through the conventions of more aggressive music. A snare march underpins Payseur’s taut verse riff, before exploding into crash cymbal fury in a single note guitar instrumental that’d fill his reverb bros with seething jealousy. Beach Fossils have always cranked up the volume and tempo for their live show, but in a recorded career full of lackadaisical guitar plucks and laconic, if wistful, vocals, it’s good to hear Payseur trying to bottle some of that live lightning.