Thursday, August 11, 2022

Album Review: Near Beer - Near Beer

Near Beer
**** out of *****

The Los Angeles, CA based indie-rock/pop-punk outfit Near Beer's debut full length is a mix of shiny rocking guitars and mid-life looking lyrics as the outfit grow old and clings to youth concurrently. 

The trio of Joey Siara (vocals, guitar), Brent Stranathan (drums), Jeremy Levy (bass, backup vocals) get their kicks with loud rocking guitar layers around mini anthemic tunes as Siara (The Henry Clay People) dove back into music, writing these ten songs and releasing the self-titled effort exactly ten years from his last musical offering. 

Fans of guitar driven odes developed in bars and cleaned up in the studio will have a lot to love here. Opener "Yelling at a Dog" deals with stresses of adulthood, chugging along, chomping and rising with big drums, odd digital bleeps, fuzz and riffs all while bemoaning selling guitars to pay rent. The slower "Double Double" eases back the energy with some swinging while "Headlights" and the shout along "Sleeping is for Suckers" keeps that sweet easy sound, falling more on the restrained indie rock side of things.     

The band can also push it up tempo with the powerful drums urging the punk chaos forward on "Paper Cups" but it is the mixing of these styles where the trio succeed the most. The catchy riffs from Siara are everywhere, especially poignant on the band life ode "Dead Drummers" and the poppy joy of "Thursday". The only misfire on the album is the experimental closing "Celsius Man" which drags too long without any direction.  

The group injects their style into a stripped down, classic country ode "Whiskey/Wine" rising the ear ringing style with honesty in winning fashion. The group takes everything they do well and ramp it up a notch on the highlight offering "Mixtape Generation". The ode to days forgotten, features a snaking riff, pounding drums and descriptive lyrics which are intoxicating as the group shouts about friendship, love, loss, growing up, evolving and ultimately staying the same. 

There are lots of touch points to the tunes, modern acts like Beach Slang and Japandroids as well as older groups like The Replacements arise often throughout this pleasurable slice of indie/pop-punk. The trio of Siara, Stranathan, and Levy deliver the goods as Near Beers simple joy of playing rock shines through on their self-titled debut effort.  
Support the band, buy the album and peep some video below:

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