Times Beach Releases Raw Pop This Saturday, Opens for Perfect Pussy

Mabel Suen
Times Beach is Ben Osborne, Mark Plant and Travis Dettmann.
In this weekly column, RFT Music gets to know local creatives, musicians and their missions. Get a slice of the local scene, complete with a snippet of sound and info about upcoming releases and shows. Stick around to see what St. Louis artists have to say whenever they Fill in in the Blank.

Only two words are deemed vital in describing the band Times Beach: "raw pop." Raw Pop is the name of the trio's new album, an eight-song jammer released digitally and on cassette. This Saturday, December 28, the tape drops at Melt, where the group will play its chorus-drenched tunes while opening for Perfect Pussy from New York.

See also: Lumpy & the Dumpers' New Music Video for "Sex Pit" is the Most Awesome Thing

The group's collective efforts in a number of area punk bands both past and present lends to its jagged, relentless approach to pop music. While inherently pop from the core structure and songwriting, Times Beach's sound billows outward with wall-of-sound guitar amplified by chorus effects, catchy resonant bass-lines and tight, upbeat drumming. Guitarist/singer Mark Plant sings anxious words wrapped up in a blanket of warm fuzz.

Plant, who also performs in Chicago-based punk group Broken Prayer, relates the overall layered textures to shoegaze, which he says he listens to a lot of, but his music isn't necessarily the long-winded type to curl up with and fall asleep to. For a more accurate assessment, take the moody, melodic persistence of the genre, spike it with a heavy dose of steroids a la Minutemen and the Black Tambourines, and serve it up shaken.

Times Beach, named after the historical ghost town just outside of Eureka, comes from the brainchild of Plant and longtime friend and bandmate Travis Dettmann (drums) following the break-up of their project the Masculine Journey. The two combined forces with friend and fellow City Museum co-worker Ben Osborne (bass), who wields a degree in jazz performance as well as a long resume in hardcore including current projects Lumpy & the Dumpers and Overdoser.

Going forward, Plant says he hopes to incorporate more electronic elements into his music to lend more variation. Times Beach released its first demo in March 2013, with art by Stuart Shadwell. Its new set of songs, also self-recorded, comes mixed and mastered by St. Louis ex-pat Mario Viele. Check Raw Pop out below.

We invited Times Beach to fill in the blanks ahead of its cassette release this weekend. See what they had to say after the jump.

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