Jarring, cool, dark, equally loud and quiet, shimmering, frantic, measured rock & roll with some obvious influences and some more subtle. Take ‘Hurt Me’ Thunders and mix in some Lou Reed with a dash of Star Spangles and New York Dolls and you add a smattering of Bolan and Bowie and you have a little indication of the direction of travel Beechwood are on. At times Beechwood is the quintessential sound of ‘Taxi Driver’ sleazy New York City, A band that could only have been born out of that city.

Formed by a pair of close neighborhood friends as teenagers, Beechwood initially developed playing small clubs and DIY spaces of New York City.

 Beechwood are not a new band, no sir, this is album number four! I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing their previous albums from their debut album ‘Trash Glamour’ (Lolipop! Records) in 2016, ‘Songs From The Land of Nod’ and ‘Inside the Flesh Hotel’ (Alive Naturalsound Records) the everpresent songwriting and guitar-weaving partnership of Gordon Lawrence and Sid Simons, Russ Yusuf on drums and recent addition Jensen Gore on bass. The band has been honing their craft so far bringing it to a head on this new album in 2022.

A sound that comes from late-night dirt and the glamour of The Big Apple. A band who have been chipping away at the rough diamonds of previous recordings, their sound is finally formed on this record and they have come of age and delivered everything they’ve been threatening and some. It’s unpredictable but has a more mature feel than previous recordings.

Gordon Lawrence has a sultry, petulant, nonchalant vocal style. The band delivers a catchy melody as well, From the opening ‘Front Page News’ is instant with its swooning melody and the interweaving vocals are excellent. There is something rather infectious in Beechwood’s tunes, Which is probably what reminds me of Thunders.

‘Firing Line’ has a classic feel to it like you’ve heard the melody before but it’s been out on loan and others have kept it warm for Beechwood. The guitars with the echo and Thunder’s levels of reverb just add to the dreamy nature of those vocals.

‘Lost Lovers’ is an acoustic-driven late-night lament with hushed vocals. From the hushed melody were into a more caustic slice of Rock and Roll in the shape of ‘Luckiest Man Alive’. The ebb and flow is maintained with the wonderful ‘Go My Way’ driven by the hypnotic snare roll and chiming acoustic lick.

‘Silver Chord’ begins with a sparse arrangement before lift off. ‘She Broke Me’ has added piano and a chaotic sample with a ghostlike aura hanging over proceedings.

‘Carved Arm’ is a more straightforward slice of Loud Rock N Roll that proceeds the haunting ‘Gently Towards The Light’. The record then takes another twist as the band kick out the jams on a distorted stab at ‘Rain’ if only the original were this ragged and chaotic. Before the band sign off they turn the amps up on ‘Friendly Fire’ where they drop into a poptastic verse then take off on the chorus, Fantastic!

The band then sign off with the dreamy ‘Wept And Prayer’ a song that builds and builds over five minutes twisting and turning like its own Ray Davies five-minute summary. An album that’s been giving up a secret on every play just getting better and better. Beechwood have come of age and released an absolute belter of a record. Now if this virus would kindly fuck off they can hopefully, drag their Noo Yawk City bodies over this side of the pond and show us how they rip it up in a sweaty club, that would be the cherry on the icing on the cake. Buy It!

Buy Here

Author: Dom Daley