Album Review: Slaughter Beach, Dog – Safe And Also No Fear

Many of you may already be familiar with the work of Jake Ewald from his time fronting Modern Baseball, a playful pop punk band hailing from the United States who rocked our shores not too long ago. These days however you can find Ewald taking on an altogether more serious tone with his latest project Slaughter Beach, Dog.

With Slaughter Beach Dog it is clear that although Ewald is drastically expanding his horizons with his music and becoming increasingly daring and experimental, it is also evident that he is far from done with his rock heritage. While the punk elements might have been left by the wayside the rocking atmosphere that we have come to know from his work is still very much present. The latest album Safe and Also no Fear is a beautiful and eclectic collection of melodies that range from energetic rock melodies that burst at the seams and the soft and tender folk tunes such as opening track One Down. What’s especially noticeable about the work put into Safe and Also no Fear is how effortlessly (at least on the surface) it all comes together in a rich fusion of sound that blurs the lines ever further between folk and rock. There are a wealth of influences that can be found within their work and as everything from grunge to gospel filters through the tracks there are elements that seem to echo The Smiths or even a stripped back Weezer.

Ewald is a charming and friendly young man with an inimitable and powerful voice that is steeped in a rich emotive layer that can cut through anything. This ineffable charm is in part a large part of Slaughter Beach, Dog’s appeal as not only does Ewald come across as a down-to-earth and genuine individual but his work is a curious blend of poetic concepts and tales explored in songs like Black Oak but at the same time they also feel readily identifiable and it’s so easy to take his earnest voice at face value. There is a strong bond of trust that is built up with his listeners almost immediately and with that trust it becomes tough not to feel what he is feeling when he brings these songs to life.

Safe and Also no Fear is a softer album than perhaps you would expect from Ewald but it’s also stunningly beautiful and also powerfully vibrant. There is a real sense of life that it exudes, no matter the content or context of their work the overall delivery is an album that is gleaming with positive aspects and an earnest and evocative voice that brings the world together. Absolutely not an album to be missed.

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Review by Joe Knipe


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