Beaches is undoubtedly one of Australia’s best psych-rock outfits ever. It’s a fact that requires no further elaboration, but if you’ve chosen to scoff at that fact then I’d like to simply point to the band’s current output as supporting evidence. Over the past decade, Beaches have only released two full-length albums, which admittedly is a small sample size that is contrarian to psych’s amorphous, prolific and self-congratulatory nature. But in this instance, it’s absolutely a case of quality over quantity. Almost four years since the release of the band’s second album She Beats, Beaches return with ‘Void’, a heat-blasted number that heralds the third phase of the five-piece’s career – a new double album called Second Of Spring, which will be released through Chapter Music in September.
This song kicks. It’s sudden and driven. It’s got a force to it and it’s got a weight as well. Songs like these can be hard to carry, but Beaches ain’t got a problem with it. In addition to the immediate and hypnotic cavalcade of guitar squall and bass thrum, ‘Void’ is an examination of absence – a questioning of the disappearance of another and the empty space the departed once occupied.
Where’d you go, I wanna know, It’s been so long
‘Void’ communicates a curiosity as to the fate of the missing. Whether there was a falling out or rift is unclear, but the urgency of the tune also evokes a notion of escape – putting wheels to pavement and bailing. Perhaps the curiosity is tinged with envy. Where did you go? Can I come too?
There’s no sonic void here – every second is filled with noise, from the opening furnace blast to the dissipating notes at song’s end. It also fills my head to the brim, leaving no room for anything but the song. It’s what Beaches do best. I’m equal parts jubilant and circumspect about the news that Second of Spring will be a double album – mainly because I don’t want the immediacy of Beaches to become diluted (and double albums can be tricky to make engaging across two halves). As long as the music is as focused and as driven as ‘Void’, then I’m confident it’s not something to be overly worried about.