James Beastly’s Junk Values Combines Pop Punk and Indie Rock, Carries the Spirit of San Francisco

James Beastly is out with Junk Values, a brand-new album that fuses genres and transcends musical norms. It is clear that Beastly put his entire heart and soul into this record. Rock the Pigeon is here to break it down, track by track.

We begin at “The Arc of Youth.” A skate punk energy hits the speakers, setting up the tone for the rest of the record that fuses punk and indie rock into a unique sound. This song is quickly paced and over in less than 2 minutes. It serves as the perfect introduction to show listeners what the rest of the record has to offer. There are psychedelic flavors throughout the song as well, including the guitar tone.

The second track “Tragedy Dolls” brings the listener a San Francisco music scene vibe. It’s a laid back piece that pulls from classic rock and psychedelic singer-songwriter folk. This song is lighter in tone and has a sense of calm to it.

Things pick up again with “Dark Horse Dreams.” This song carries more of a 90s rock/grunge feel. The song begins with distorted guitars and a heavy bass line. The songwriting is fantastic, complete with a catchy vocal melody from start to finish. The song fluctuates between moments of angst and moments of peace. This is definitely one of my personal favorites on the record.

“Ghost Species” features an eerie sounding guitar riff and bass line. The vocals have moments that are drenched in reverb and echo, adding to the haunting nature of the track. This song allows room for the drums and guitars to shine.

This brings us to the album’s center, “The Absurd Horizon.” This song begins slowly but quickly picks up into a larger array of instrumentation. This is another song that carries the sound of the San Francisco music scene. It’s highly emotional and may provoke the listener to think deeply.

The mood becomes lighter with the title track, “Junk Values.” There is an underlying sense of excitement, urgency, and positivity to this song. This song lives in a major key, with fun guitar riffs, a joyous vocal melody that will get stuck in your head, and a fun drum beat that will make you clap your hands and hopefully dance too.

The nostalgia sets in with “Vacant Games.” Starting off with an old school Nintendo type sound, Vacant Games sounds like it was inspired by the sounds and devices of the 1980s. This song is synth driven and features dreamy guitar playing. The vocals have a unique melody that pull the listener in further.

“Angelique” is one of the most musically intense tracks on the record. It is faster paced, features moody vocals and guitars, and fast-paced drums with a bass groove to go along. Here’s another song that has a catchy chorus hook to it.

We end the record on two high notes with “Popular Myth” and “Bye Bye.” Popular Myth starts off strongly with heavy bass and soaring electric guitar riffs. The vocals have a bit more edge to them compared to previous tracks on the record. “Bye Bye” is a great conclusion to this musical journey of an album. This song is laid back and leaves the listener wanting to hear more.

Junk Values was released on Audio Villain Records, an indie label based in the historic Haight district of San Francisco.

Written by Ryan Cassata

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