Corners // Beyond Way
Recommended Track: Sometimes
Out of the lo-fi hullabaloo that is Lolipop Records, come Corners and their shiny cassette Beyond Way. Despite my low opinion of the constant influx of surf-inspired bands, Corners’ band members are genuinely good songwriters with a talent for catchy hooks. Their ten-track album is definitely worth popping into your car’s cassette player and jamming out to on the way to a show.
Beyond Way has a myriad of memorable songs, but none more than “Sometimes.” It’s a fierce track with a melody that will get stuck in your head and leave a bitter taste in your mouth. Twangy guitars and crashing drums cut deep while the up and down vocal patterns read like a schoolyard taunt. It was brilliantly placed as the opener, and really sets the tone for the entire album.
Every band embraces their dark side at some point, but Corners is more gray than dark per se. “The Grave” has a great jazzy piano line hidden among acoustic guitars. The sleepy vocals drag like a groaning ghost. It’s an odd contrast that mysteriously jives without coming across as contrived. There are lots of instrumental breaks in many of the songs including “I Don’t Mind”, which is very Iggy & The Stooges with somewhat toned down vocals. Corners are great at sounding timeless by mimicking their influences in vocal patterns and instrumental effects. These groovy dudes love their effects pedals. Oodles of echo and reverb are contained within “The Greatest”. It’s very 60s go-go club and makes me want to do “the monkey” or “the swim.” Additionally, “The Strangest Things” has another catchy hook that you’ll want to sing for sure. Certain to be a LA garage rock classic, it’s definitely a track that needs to be fully enjoyed live. I’m not sure how they pull off the subliminal weirdness live in “Everything is Good”, however. It sounds like it belongs on another record entirely with its howling dogs coming through the vocals at creepy intervals. Despite my confusion I really enjoyed the title track “Beyond Way”, which is a hand clapping folk-punk song with plenty of tambourine and spooky ‘oohs’ haunting the background. I could swear they were saying my name until I realized it was “beyond way.” I must have lost some hearing playing this album at full volume. And really, that’s the best way to enjoy it: with some friends, on a gray lazy day.