Beach Day

Trip Trap Attack

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Beach Day is another in a long line of bands looking to dig up the bones of the girl groups of the early '60s and give them some new life. The list is too long to even get started on here, but let's just say many have tried and relatively few have succeeded. The Florida trio's first album, Trip Trap Attack, is a noble effort that gets them about 95 percent of the way to success. Subtract the dozy ballad that sucks up way too much oxygen and stops the album dead in its tracks, and it ends up a punchy little album full of super-hooky songs, pleasantly scuffed and simple musical backing, and Kimmy Drake's impressively powerful vocals. It really takes off on the peppy rockers like "Boys," "A Little Weird," and the handclappy "Beach Day," where the bandmembers bop and skip along happily, snapping their gum and daring the boys to keep up. They also show a little versatility by giving Northern soul a shot and nailing it dead on "Stay," trying out some bopping new wave melancholy on the very Josie Cotton-sounding track "Am I the Only One," and showing some admirable depth and soul on midtempo tracks like "Walking on the Streets" and "Wasting All My Time." Jim Diamond's reverby, but clean, production really helps these songs stick hard and the simple guitar-bass-drums lineup keeps things well grounded. Unfortunately, Beach Day aren't as good when they slow it way down on "Seventeen," which lays the schmaltz on a bit too thick and gets perilously close to bar band territory. Things are much better on the album's other ballad, "Come Back to Me," which is much less predictable and features some excellent guitar work by Drake. Apart from that one stumble, Trip Trap Attack is a really strong record that sounds made for the beach, but also for anytime you want a blast of nostalgia that's not too musty and has some modern kick.

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