By Cheyenne Young
Artist: Slaughter Beach, Dog
Label: Lame-O Records
Release Date: October 27, 2017
I have always been in love with Modern Baseball, so when I found out that co-frontman Jake Ewald had started a solo project I was already sold. Ewald has been making music for Slaughter Beach, Dog since 2014 and the band was signed to Lame-O Records in 2016 after putting out their first full album Welcome. In 2017, Modern Baseball announced they were going on hiatus, and since then Ewald has immersed himself into Slaughter Beach, Dog with fellow Modern Baseball bandmate Ian Farmer. The band has been on tour and released their most recent album Birdie in October of 2017, and oh what an album it is.
The band itself served as a side project for Ewald to experiment with and conquer his case of writer’s block, but has become so much more that just that. Birdie gives the listener a one-way-ticket to “Slaughter Beach,” a town Ewald constructed and writes his songs about. While their last album Welcome was a conceptual album based on a girl and a guy living in this town, Birdie reflects more on Ewald’s own thoughts and experiences. Welcome and their EP’s Motorcycle.JPG and Dawg bordered more on emo punk, while Birdie is a much more cooled down album that steps into the indie-folk category. The album isn’t over encumbered with heavy drums or bass, but is rather an acoustic album with softer vocals.
Slaughter Beach, Dog has proven to be very lyrically based, as Ewald uses each song to tell a story. Ewald’s lyrics are poetic, metaphoric and extremely detail-oriented; you can lose yourself in the pictures that he paints. Ewald sets a very vivid scene with each track, and in the song “Pretty O.K.” he says, “the blindfold was tied a double knot, she’s peeking out in the Goodwill parking lot,” which is a very detailed lyric that the listener can almost see themselves. Ewald tells stories of tour life, childhood friends and the simplicity of falling in love. Throughout the album, Ewald keeps up with this persona of a girl named “Annie.” In the last track “Acolyte” he says, “Annie I want you to marry me,” which further develops the character’s relationship and could possibly be an idea carried into the next album.
This band is remarkably unique and has a way of expressing honest emotion. I don’t know what is in store for this band (or Modern Baseball), but I know that I am along for the ride.