It’s good, I’m these cold winter times, to get a taste of the beach. And even if you are taken to a cold grey New Jersey shore, it still has the impact of taking you out of the season. Maybe more sulk than surf. Like maybe wearing a sweater on the beach and skipping stones into the ocean. That was part of the appeal of seeing Real Estate for free at the Local X Local show at Brooklyn Bowl last night.
The other part is the pure stylistic precision. Surfy lo-fi rock – whatever you want to call it. If you think of it like a scene it’s like we’re in Seattle in 1994, except now we’re living large on reverb and jammed out verses. The style is trending from suburban New Jersey to hipster-centric Brooklyn. In their plaid shirts and worn jeans, these dudes are sonically swimming out into the crowd through a see of sopping we guitar tones. I mean this in the best way.
The first song they played as a standout hit from their self-titled debut was “Suburban Beverage.” The band harmonizes and repeats the line “Budweiser, Sprite, do you feel alright?” over a plinking guitar line. It’s perfect. And a great representation of why we love Real Estate so much: With those six words, our hearts are endeared and anyone who has migrated to New York is suddenly transported back to the town they grew up in and the family gatherings they once went to there.
They touched on a lot of the best songs from their record. “Beach Comber” was in there, as were “Suburban Dogs” and “Fake Blues” and “Out of Time.” This is a band who can recreate the sound on their album stunningly. Although some sounds get slightly lost in the big room of Brooklyn Bowl, they still sound really on point.
And while the hits were great, it was nice to hear a lot of new material mixed in with the tracks from the record. You never want to see a band rest on their laurels after releasing a great record, and Real Estate are certainly not doing that. The new stuff follows the same suburban trajectory that they have been on.
If you’re heading home for the holidays, say hello to the suburbs for those of us who can’t make it. But if you’re staying here, let’s rock the beach!