Beaten Awake - Thunder$troke
If you need to know how far the technology of home recording has come, just look at the evolution of the term "lo-fi." It used to be more of a description than a label. It was used for bands like Guided By Voices or The Folk Implosion to describe records that were made in bedrooms and garages on 4-track cassette recorders and boomboxes, and the results sounded every bit like the way they were created.
Kent, Ohio's Beaten Awake might share inspiration and a state of mind with the former forbearers of the lo-fi movement, but sonically their second album is a millions miles away from the likes of Bee Thousand. Thunder$troke is equal parts rocking and pulsating, mixing straight ahead indie rock with dreamy soundscapes. At times it sounds a bit like a stripped down take on Built To Spill, with a healthy dose of new wave influence mixed in. It's almost odd that an album that features two lead singers and alternates so much between guitar driven songs and keyboard-centric tunes can come together so well as a cohesive whole. But whether it's the funky fuzz bass riff on the title track, the manic guitar pop of "Danger Pins," or atmospheric closer "I shot the Mayor, not the Deputy Mayor," these songs are definitely all coming from the same fertile creative soil. Thunder$troke comes out tomorrow (October 13) on Fat Possum.
Beaten Awake - "Thunder$troke" (mp3)
Beaten Awake - "Coming Home" (mp3)