Review: Muscle Beach

Muscle Beach
Muscle Beach has taken up the torch of post-hardcore and used it to scorch everything in its path. After releasing its fierce, critically-acclaimed self-titled debut at the end of 2015, the band continued to hone its amalgamation of heavy, precise guitarwork, powerful basslines, and meticulous, forceful drum beats over lovingly screamed vocals. And after two-plus years of relentless gigging, touring, and writing, the band is back with Charms, a badass tour-de-force that builds on the already dynamic momentum of its last release. The record commences with “Church Tongue,” a blast of unrelenting intensity that clocks in just shy of two-and-a-half minutes and sounds like someone put Motorhead and At the Drive-In on two competing stereos. “Hair Piss” likewise showcases the group’s ability to condense brutal force and reckless abandon into a distinct pulse of energy. And the song “Midnight Math,” a dancey number full of hooks and verve that’s the pinnacle of the album, would be a top-10 radio hit if there were any musical justice in the world. Anyone ambivalent about the prospects of a sophomore slump can put those fears to rest, since Charms may just fucking bring it even harder than the band’s self-titled record -- insomuch as that can even happen.