It feels like day 666 of blazing sun in the year of our dark lord 2022, as Satan’s domain continues to take control and roast our planet (climate change, what climate change?), yet finally, and oh so sweetly timed as we hit holiday season, in the words of The Undertones ‘Here Comes The Summer!’ And, boy, do we have the perfect sunshine accompaniment in the form of the beer-and-beach party punk rock of Beddy Rays and their self-titled, self-released debut. And the aforementioned Undertones smash isn’t a bad place to start in terms of the style and sound of this joyous album teaming, like rock pools with crustaceans, with ear-worms and great tunes.
Like a younger Menzingers before the mortgage kicked in and the cleaning and repair costs became too expensive to cover all the house parties, or a less heartbroken Spanish Love Songs, the Rays are setting out on the journey of love, life, and laughter, building the experiences for the more sober and sombre later albums; they want to spend their “Lifetime; Drinking beer in the sunshine”, extolling life with their mates on the coastal hills, and enjoying that which spreads out in front of them.
And they have every reason to be optimistic and that their future will be one of gigs, parties, fun-times and success. To paraphrase Lord Josh Homme, Beddy Rays is the feel-good hit of the summer, chock-full of songs to crank on the stereo while hitting those coastal roads, or enjoying those late night beer-b-q’s.
And this is no one or two hit wonder, as the Australian quartet have quantity as well as quality, casually hitting a gorgeous run of catchy tunes down the back-straight as band anthem ‘Sobercoaster’ is followed by the playful Jimmy Eat World chug-rock of ‘Milk’, the bass-led surf-rock of ‘Ashtray’, and the power-indie stomp of ‘Coffee Stops’. All this comes after a powerful opening run, headed up the singalong rock-bopper ‘Wait A While’ and the Aussie rock of second track ‘Week On Repeat’ that manages to throwback to Screaming Jets (despite the protagonists probably being waaay too young to have enjoyed the glorious Tear of Thought), before ‘FOTU’ and its insistent beat and lead guitar motifs slap another grin on your face, and another chorus in your brain.
It’s cool to see the development and progression of bands as they age and mature, but it’s also damn invigorating to be swept up in the tide of joy of a new band setting out on adventure with a pack of beers in the cooler and great tunes in their back pockets. Shitloads of them.
8 / 10