Culture Abuse – Bay Dream (Epitaph Records)
June 15th 2018
Culture Abuse return with their sun-kissed second record; a departure from their debut, though no less appealing. Louder Than War’s Dave Beech reviews.
That Bay Dream, the second album from San Francisco’s Culture Abuse should drop amid what’s arguably the best weather Britain has had in years is nothing short of kismet. Sunkissed and perhaps a little stoned, its warm melodies and easy-going nature offer the perfect accompaniment to the time of year.That said, Bay Dream is also far from a breezy record made for background listening, but nor is it as anywhere near as pissed-off as its predecessor.
If the band’s debut was the tumultuous teenage break-up, the one in which it felt like your world was caving in, Bay Dream is that first adult break-up, one that arguably hurts more, yet leaves you on the other side as a different, but better person.
While Peach felt like a knee-jerk reaction to what life throws at you Bay Dream offers a brighter and more considered approach to the peaks and troughs of twenty-something living. ‘Dip’ for instance, deals with the very real problem of maintaining relationships with loved ones, while ‘Bee Kind to the Bugs’ offers a simple message of living well that more of us could learn something from.
Simplicity is arguably what makes Bay Dream the record that it is. From its airy and often woozy instrumentation, to the record’s overarching message of ‘just don’t be a shit person’, it’s not a complicated record to understand, nor a difficult one to fall in love with.
Should a single track summarise the album in its entirety, the sprawling (in comparison) ‘California Speedball’ manages to distil the record down to its easy-going and accepting core. “Let me lay out in the sun, smoke some weed with everyone” drawls frontman David Kelling. Now if that doesn’t define a balmy British summer, I’m not really sure what else will.
Dave Beech is a music writer based out of Manchester. He writes and edits for a number of different websites and links to his work can be found over at his blog, Life’s A Beech, as well as his Louder Than War Author Archive. He also tweets as @Dave__Beech.