Music Reviews

Beverly Careers

(Kanine) Buy it from Insound Rating - 6/10

After reaching its peak in the last few years of the past decade, there’s been a noticeable lack of willing contenders vying to spearhead the next wave of blissed-out distortion. Most have either cleaned up their sound or disbanded after saturating their unwavering approach, but female duo Beverly are keeping that spark alive by resorting to a throwback sound that never seems to fray regardless of the execution. Sharing a likeminded vision for the C86 movement as well as early nineties British twee, the songwriting duo of Drew Citron and Frankie Rose decided to take a simpler method by writing a batch of sweetly-attuned pop songs that demonstrates their years of experience within their tight-knit musical circle. Rose has taken liberties in trying to give it a new face with her solo project and The Outs, ditching the noisy sonics and expressing her warm feelings without any concealment on her past record Interstrellar with Citron as backup musician, and now it’s Citron’s turn to take the helm as lead songwriter.

Right from the outset, the straight-laced hiss of their debut full-length, Careers, may come with a bit of a disadvantage considering they’ve both been in projects that have gradually evolved instead of purely sticking to the constraints of feedback drench. It can come across as a tad unimaginative with its balmy melodies and enervated girl group harmonies - the laconic scuzz of Hong Kong Motel ends right where it starts with a punctuated surfy guitar line that’s been repeated to exhaustion, especially in this time of year, while You Can’t Get It Right resembles the bouncy rhythms of Last Splash-era Breeders with an almost exacting precision. Thankfully, they do counteract that overall evenness with handy songwriting craft - for instance, the uptempo charge of Honey Do is irresistibly catchy and worthy of any era of indie pop that it may get instantly pegged, while All The Things features a delightfully beatific vocal harmony and one of the best shimmering progressions ever since the Vivian Girls stopped recording music in 2011. 

The fact that Rose and Citron are exemplary members of the past noise-pop boom proves why Careers is so effortlessly enjoyable, especially since both have a very good ear for infusing chugging melodies with idiosyncratic hooks. Rose gets to once again display her agile drumming skills, which were never as fully accomplished on her short stint with Crystal Stilts, and Citron is quite the revelation, proving that she could become as identifiable as her counterpart if she ever decides to follow the solo route. So it’s equally disappointing to hear that it never comes up to the potential that it could have, and can be considered as nothing more than a gracefully tempered display of sharply cadenced pop compositions. Which shouldn’t deem Beverly as an unnecessary project even if it has something of a side-project feel, but there’s also the question of how they could further flourish their artistic vision. Careers can be perceived as a step backwards, or as an opportunity for Citron to find her voice, even though it may not make that much of a difference considering there’s very few variations in the tradition they dutifully follow.