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Beaten Awake's history winds through some of Kent's finest groups of the last decade. Drummer Ryan Brannon and guitarist-singer Jon Finley played in Party of Helicopters. Guitarist Joel McAdams fronted Harriet the Spy. Goodmorning Valentine's Joey Beltram recorded the trio's self-titled debut, and Jamie Stillman (ex-Party/Spy/Houseguest) mastered it.

Swept up in psychedelic-laced Americana, the trio leaves punked-up indie-prog in the past. "Young Forever" launches the disc with a thudding beat that evokes a beating heart, stomping boots, and axes chopping down a tree. "Bubble Bath of Sharks!!!" gallops toward the sunset, chasing a jangling guitar. In "Ghost Bought a Bicycle," bluesy notes float over a slow, heavy beat, while a nasal Finley laments a departed obsession. Houseguest's Gabe Schray stops by for a short, glistening sax solo that would do Charles Tolliver proud. While plenty of groups are discovering this kind of music, few execute it as well as Beaten Awake.

More by D.X. Ferris


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