ALBUM REVIEW: New Beat Fund - Sponge Fingerz

ALBUM REVIEW: New Beat Fund - Sponge Fingerz

Genre: "G-Punk", Pop punk, Alternative rock

Release Date: June 16, 2015

Label: Red Bull Records

I wouldn’t be quick to say that New Beat Fund's music is incredibly idiosyncratic in the landscape of punk bands — it's their lyrics that are so blatant and unapologetic, which may come across as audacious. Frankly, I find them amusing.

New Beat Fund — a Los Angeles four-man band — reached initial fame in 2012 for their self-produced music video of song ‘Scare Me'. The band embraces a dynamic hybrid of electronic, rock and rap with a loose West Coast, SoCal vibe, coining their music as ‘G-punk’ — an allusion to the iconic 90s hip-hop production style populated by Dr. Dre.

'Scare Me’ is brought back for their 2015 album Sponge Fingerz. Picking up where they left off, New Beat Fund continues to weave their tuneful hooks with cheeky yet endearing lyrics, leaving an indelible impression whether their style is up your alley.

Despite the title’s insinuation, 'It’s Cool' immediately transports one to sunny California, where the syncopated beats of the lightweight pop melodies draw in tides to the shore under a huddled group of swaying, luscious palm trees.

Whilst the melodic line comfortably compliments the lead singer’s relaxed vocals, sprinkled with breezy electronic elements, the playful tone contrasts the disoriented lyrics — the chorus sings “Everywhere I go / what the f*** am I doing here / What’s anybody doing here / Is there anybody new here / And every time I see you / I think about you still / I know we’re not together / but it’s cool while you’re here,” descending in pitch from initial euphoria into a cavalcade of fast-paced bass rhythms. 

Moving onto the song that first started everything, ‘Scare Me’ contains bold, humorous lyrics that would either entertain or appall. The song lists various things that ‘scare’ the singer: politicians, fried chicken, Lady Gaga, the world ending, “stock market bla bla bla bla equals dividends”.

Misleading listeners with static, synthetic strings and mellifluous piano arpeggios, the sheer elasticity of the lead singer’s voice combined with the brazen tone of both his lyrics and vocals, which have been slightly electronically tampered with, are enough to elicit laughter.

In addition to the absurd lyricism, after the ascending pitch and dynamics repeating "scare me" in the chorus, the infectious chords and exaggerated vocal screams used to fill in gaps between phrases in the chorus heighten its comical nature and propel the indie pop-inspired music forward.

Finally, the explicitly trivial song ‘Why So Mean’ demonstrates the band’s confounding but technically admirable rapping abilities, wrapped up by an accordion solo. Take that as you may.

New Beat Fund may just be the post-modern epitome of a guilty pleasure. Whether or not that is the case for you, their combination of numerous music influences makes it difficult to not enjoy (even if their music goes against every facet of music you normally enjoy).

Rating: 7.0/10

Sponge Fingerz is now available through Red Bull Records.