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Rating: 8.5/10

 

Bio:
Beijing is an American alternative rock band from New Haven, CT. Their style has elements of a dark, melancholy, alternative rock sound made famous in the 90’s by bands like Sunny Day Real Estate and Smashing Pumpkins, fused with big choruses and spacey guitar reminiscent of modern bands like Jimmy Eat World and Kings of Leon. Yet they stand out on their own and take your preconceived notions of feeble angst-ridden emo band and shatter them with an authentic artistic quality that proves they are the real deal. They’re not in it for the fame or to get girls, they’re in it to make music and art, and it shows.
 

The band formed in the Spring of 2011 and released their debut EP, ‘It’s Not So Simple‘. The four song EP consisted of simple and unique grunge rock inspired pop songs characterized by Thornberg’s unique vocal style set to a soundtrack of layered fuzz and amplifier feedback.

 

After spending most of late 2011 and early 2012 maturing together as a band and writing a massive amount of new material, Beijing headed into the studio to record their full length debut, ‘Night‘. The album was released on May 7th, 2013. Inspired by feelings of love, loss and hope, ‘Night‘ showcases the sound that Beijing has become. Dark and spacey melodies collide with huge distorted guitars, provoking emotion and thought inside of a dark and dense, yet beautiful atmosphere.

 
 

The opening track “Acrobat” is a stomping 3/4 waltz to blaze the trail for the rest of the album. Thornberg’s vocals are rich and smooth and the guitar lays on the feedback over the thundering drums throughout the latter half of the track.

 
“Into The Rain” is a majestic track featuring soaring guitar bends that you’ll also hear throughout the album. After the 2:30 mark the track takes off into a flurry of maniacal drums and frantic guitars that take you out of the track with your head spinning. These guys really mean business. The shortest track on the album, “The Sun Will Set” is a great composition of layering vocals which lead you right into an explosion of thundering heaviness. I can imagine these songs in a live settings are just a frenzy of pure adrenaline.

One of my favorite tracks is “Silence,” with an Incubus-like intro the chorus melody features a great vocal performance and the has a brutal scream of the lyrics and a sweet grunge guitar solo.

goodnight to a fever
a lot to lose, careful to choose
alone in a mirror
cut the cord from your neck
tell me who was left
the silence is free
in the air tonight
sound the alarm
face it all
cut out your heart
sound the alarm
face it all
carve out your heart
some go mad, some die free
the ghost of your former
for the rest of your life, careless in the night
alone in the shadow
left unaware
desperate to hear
the silence set free
in the air tonight

Key Tracks: Broken Glass, Silence, Triggers
 
The band does an amazing job with layering grunge textures and reverb-laden vocals without making the music feel dated. This album is something that could be on the top of charts in 1994 or 2014 and I really appreciate Beijing for walking that fine line and owning it. It’s truly a refreshing listen from start to finish. The way the songs flow together and compliment each other is a true testament to the songwriting ability of these guys. Very well done, not to be missed, especially for FREE!
 

Beijing is currently supporting ‘Night’ and have begun writing a follow-up album to be released in early 2014.

 

 

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