For The Beaches’ third EP ‘The Professional’, the latest release after their debut album ‘Late Show’, the Toronto, Ontario quartet grabbed the chance to work with a well-established luminary within the world of music. To quote Kylie Miller (guitar) “we had the opportunity to collaborate with our dream producer/good friend Jacknife Lee and we’re so excited about this new evolution in our sound.” This is the same knob-twiddler who has produced the likes of U2, Weezer, The Killers and REM, to name a few colossal acts.
‘The Professional’ sees the Canadian outfit and Lee harness the catchy, poppier side of The Beaches’ jaunty, hook-laden rock. ‘Desdemona’ opens up the EP with a clarion call barrage of big arena sized riffs before dipping into verses that wiggle and shuffle with an almost disco quality. Vocalist/bass player Jordan Miller remarks of the song’s protagonist “what’s it like in your head?” and later in the track “nobody can control her”. Evidently the character Desdemona is something of a free-spirit, who lives a colourful existence. ‘Fascination’ comes bounding at you with quickfire drums and shimmering guitar waves; it’s here where The Beaches recount the story of being fixated on an object of infatuation that doesn’t quite come to fruition. The level of obsession is then stretched to wanting a first-born child to bear the name of Miller “and when you’ve grown up and get married and you have a daughter I hope you consider naming her after me?”. The “evolution” of the four piece’s sound expresses itself via the drum machine driven “Snake Tongue”, which straddles the two worlds of pop-rock and post-punk. A vehement sass bleeds through the track as Miller delivers the disarming line of “just because I have this fresh face/doesn’t mean I want to taste your toothpaste.” The energy that propels ‘Snake Tongue’ is dialled down slightly but this isn’t to say the song doesn’t pack that same kind of wallop that’s come before it. A dance-rock strut bounces throughout ‘Want What You Got’, a song that’s so rubbery and malleable, you expect it to be made of pure elastic. ‘The Professional’ is signed off by the emasculation of someone who’s got to big for their boots. With a defiant strut, Miller aims her sights at a wannabe Rockstar; “got a new guitar and you think you’re famous” and “you’re so tough/making your name with your bad behaviour” deliver a perfect kick to the nuts of toxic masculinity.
‘The Professional’ is righteously empowered and bristling with a creative spark; clearly The Beaches aren’t clock watching for amateur hour.
Words and thoughts of Adam Williams