Philly indie/emo punk act Modern Baseball recently entered hiatus due in part to a case of writer’s block experienced by Jake Ewald. As part of his therapy he embarked on a side project, Slaughter Beach, Dog, that shifted his attention from songs about personal experience to the outward construction of a fictional town and creation of accompanying inhabitants. Ewald’s Motorcycle.jpg EP was a refreshingly vivid example of storytelling, and his follow-up full-length, Birdie, travels even deeper down the rabbit hole.
While Motorcycle.jpg by and large invoked an indie-rock approach, Birdie mellows by way of acoustic delivery and emotional intuition. Ewald channels his inner John K. Samson (The Weakerthans) in stripped down opener “Phoenix,” a song that lucidly describes an emergent relationship through affectionate descriptions of mundanities and memory that stick with the heart. Ewald’s delicate delivery unfolds in tandem with lyrics that envelops the listener in a momentary mirage: “Your mother asked for a picture, she says today is your birthday, in some strung out western stutter, making all the world her ashtray, she adjusts her aviators, with an absent shaking hand, tilts the camera 45 degree and calls out modelling commands.” Ewald’s somber tone intuitively builds an imagery and experience of that of a heavy heart.
While Slaughter Beach, Dog is vocally damp, Ewald’s instrumental full band vision picks up the pace with layers of organ keys, wispy female vocals, and upbeat tempos. Take “Pretty Okay,” which provokes an easy Smoking Popes vibe both in Ewald’s anecdote-rich narrative style and lingering acoustic pop-punk informed chorus (even just the smooth pronounced way he enunciates the word “college” brings to mind the Smoking Popes song of the same name). Similar offerings include the sing along style “Sleepwalking” and whistle inducing “Acolyte” Comparatively, the slight indie keyboard and layered self-harmonies of “Gold and Green” evoke an early Mock Orange influence. At their core, these songs are simply a pleasure to become acquainted with. They’re charming in personality and entertaining in substance – like an unassuming conversational highlight with a typically introverted friend.
“Everything new is a little bit bad and everything old turns you off” sings Ewald in the chorus of “Bad Beer.” The curious little contradiction will likely appeal to the aging, thirty-something audience that Birdie will likely sit easiest with. Not to say that aging Millennials (aka “The Organ Trail Generation) won’t point to songs like “Friend Song” and “Buttercup” as a little slow moving and clunky in the midst of such a smooth track list, but they will surely appreciate the likenesses to many bands from their college years. Even beyond that, Slaughter Beach, Dog offers plenty of reasons for fans of indie/emo punk to take some time and become acquainted with Birdie’s vibrant world.
Slaughter Beach, Dog, Jake Ewald of Modern Baseball, are now streaming their new album, Birdie, in full. Birdie is released this Friday, October 27th, and pre-orders are now available physically here and digitally here via Lame-O Records, in the UK and Europe via Big Scary Monsters here and in Australia via Cooking Vinyl here.
Slaughter Beach, Dog will begin their headlining tour this fall with support from Shannen Moser.
You can stream Birdie here and view Slaughter Beach, Dog‘s tour dates below Read More…
Slaughter Beach, Dog, the solo project of Modern Baseball‘s Jake Ewald, have released a stream of their new song, Acolyte, that is taken from of Slaughter Beach, Dog‘s new album, Birdie, that is due out on October 27th on Lame-O Records. You can pre-order Birdie on physical formats via Lame-O Records in the US here, via Big Scary Monsters Records in Europe here, and in Australia via Cooking Vinyl here.
Acolyte can be streamed via Noisy here
Birdie can be pre-ordered via Bandcamp here
Slaughter Beach, Dog, have premiered a new song from their recently announced their new record, Birdie, which will be coming out October 27th on Lame-O Records. Pre-orders for Birdie are available physically here and digitally here via Lame-O Records, in the UK/Europe via Big Scary Monsters Records here, and in Australia via Cooking Vinyl here.
Listen to the new song “Fish Fry” below.
Slaughter Beach, Dog, has just announced their new record, Birdie, will be coming out October 27th on Lame-O Records and the band are now premiering the first single from the record, Gold and Green. Pre-orders for Birdie are available physically here and digitally here via Lame-O Records, in the UK/Europe via Big Scary Monsters Records here, and in Australia via Cooking Vinyl here. Slaughter Beach, Dog have also announced a headlining US tour this fall with support from Shannen Moser, and Jake Ewald will also be playing a few solo dates in the UK this September.
You can view the video for Gold And Green, and Slaughter Beach, Dog‘s tour dates, below Read More…
Slaughter Beach, Dog was created by Jake Ewald, one half of the songwriters in Modern Baseball, as a writing tool. He scripted the stories of make believe characters living in the titular town of Slaughter Beach to break through writers block and experiment outside of the personal storytelling style he’d developed with Modern Baseball. Since his debut under this moniker, Welcome, was released in the fall of 2016 Modern Baseball have announced a hiatus and Slaughter Beach, Dog has now become the main outlet for Jake Ewald‘s songwriting.
Your Cat gently eases you into the EP with guitar lines that have the feel of a George Harrison solo track, but there the comparisons end as the idiosyncratic approach of Slaughter Beach, Dog dominates to bring a fine introduction to their sophomore release. From here on in we’re into the more mellow side of Jake Ewald with the almost comatose Glowing, before the narrative style of 104 Degrees brings the pace up slightly with a track that reminds me of a laid back Jonathan Richman. The final track, Building The Ark, brings things back down again to compete a laid back quartet of tracks that have a more cohesive feel than Jake Ewald‘s initial release as Slaughter Beach, Dog.
Motorcycle.jpg makes a fine companion to Slaughter Beach, Dog‘s debut, Welcome, and will be a release that will welcomed by the fans of that first EP and those who need their Modern Baseball fix whilst that outfit is on hiatus. Motorcycle.jpg represents a positive move forward from their initial EP, in particular Your Cat and 104 Degrees have more appeal than the tracks on Welcome, and to me it seems that Jake Ewald is gaining confidence with his solo venture. The Motorcycle.jpg EP indicates that the citizens of Slaughter Beach, that only exist in Jake Ewald‘s subconscious, can look forward to some interesting times ahead.
Motorcycle.jpg can be pre-ordered via Lame-O Records here
Slaughter Beach, Dog (Jake Ewald of Modern Baseball) have just announced their new EP Motorcycle.jpg, that is due out on July 14th via Lame-O Records. The EP comes out in advance of an upcoming LP that is set to be released this fall. Slaughter Beach, Dog have also announced a headlining tour this August with fellow Lame-O Records roster mate Shannen Moser.
Motorcycle.jpg can be pre-ordered via Lame-O Records here (physical) and here (digital)
You can view Slaughter Beach, Dog‘s tour dates below
Welcome is the new record from Slaughter Beach, Dog, the new side project from Jake Ewald of Modern Baseball, this is a completely self recorded album with Jake playing every instrument on every track on Welcome. Slaughter Beach, Dog leans a little more into indie rock than his main project, and to my mind is more reminiscent of the style of bands like The Weakerthans. This project was started as a way for Jake Ewald to experiment with different styles of writing, contrasting the deeply personal nature of his compositions for Modern Baseball.
Welcome is a concept album, all of the songs are written about fictional characters living in Slaughter Beach, whilst the style of writing is different from that of Modern Baseball, this has a similar feel musically, that shouldn’t surprise anyone given Jake Ewald is the primary songwriter for that band. This is an album of laid back indie tunes centred around the fictional town of Slaughter Beach, it isn’t until the third track kicks in that anything grabs my attention, Monsters is a fine track as is Forever ,but I found that Slaughter Beach had few points of interest, as with any town, including fictional ones, there are a few places you like to go and visit, and maybe even a very few that you take your friends to because you want to share the experience it offers, but for me Slaughter Beach is a little too quiet and predictable.
If you’re a fan of Modern Baseball this will make a fine companion album to the Holy Ghost album that was released earlier this year, but I feel that this is a case of the sum of their parts being greater than the individual, which is a shame as the concept and musicianship on Welcome are fine, and all the more impressive that it’s the work of a solo artist but I doubt I’ll be re-visiting Slaughter Beach anytime soon.
Welcome can be ordered from Lame-O records here
Slaughter Beach, Dog (Jacob Ewald of Modern Baseball) has premiered a full stream of their upcoming full length, Welcome, which is due out September 30, 2016 on Lame-O Records. Pre-orders are available digitally and physically.
Listen to the full disc here.
Slaughter Beach, Dog (Jacob Ewald of Modern Baseball) has just announced his details for their debut LP. The disc will be titled Welcome, and is due out September 30, 2016 on Lame-O Records. Pre-orders are available digitally and physically.
Coinciding with the announcement, the band is streaming the new single “Monsters” here courtesy Stereogum.