“We grew up taking fire / So by 23 it’s tiring to run in little circles”
Set the scene, cue the lights, pop the corn: It’s time to get into Nekokat’s Pleasure Beach. I didn’t go into this EP while having the best day. You know the kind when you can’t find your shoes, and the shower ran out of hot water, and traffic was a witch? Well, hitting play didn’t take my problems away but it did make me forget about them for awhile, just like your favorite movie does.
Speaking of movies, if Pleasure Beach were one (which I’m kinda convinced it is) it’d be a modern 80’s romcom. It would have all the makeover scenes and high school love interests (and synths, don’t forget the synths) but none of the mile-high hair (okay, well maybe some of the mile high hair. We’ll never forget, Jordan.)
The album intro is suspenseful like when the lights go down in the theater. Quickly it slides into “Board It Up’s” dance pop beat. It’s full of groove and makes you want to jump into your classic Camaro (in true 80s style) and drive around town with all of your friends.
If “Board It Up” introduces us to our protagonists’ fun carefree nature, “I Believe In What You Are” is where we watch them ace papers, change their style, and generally live their best life. The song is so encouraging it might just convince you to do whatever it is you’ve been meaning to do—whether that’s cleaning your room or going to law school. It doesn’t matter how lofty your goals are, because Nekokat is here to provide all the motivation you need.
While the first two songs set the scene for sunny days and big accomplishments, “My Brain” was made for midnight when our protag is driving to the beach to escape it all. Nothing is going right so they drown their thoughts in the funky dynamic song, that sounds kind of like the neon lights all around them. Its spacey chorus sets it apart from everything else on the soundtrack, so you won’t forget it, even when the sun comes up and things fall into place again.
The rest of the EP could be considered the calm before the storm. The closing track “Crossfire” is an absolute s-h-o-w-s-t-o-p-p-e-r. It features prominent vocals that make you feel like you’re in studio with the band as they perform it. Plus, we’re thinking Dictionary will have to replace their definition of nostalgia with this track. Of course this is our “perfect ending” to the Pleasure Beach movie. It winds along easily, resolving everything we just heard and putting a perfect bookend on the story―that is, until the sequel. Speaking of which, when can we expect a new album, guys?
Buy It, Skip It, Stream It: Buy it and play it all summer long!