My iPod #78: Billy Talent – Beach Balls

I’ve known this song for a long time, and it has never bored me once.

Billy Talent is one of my favourite bands ever. From the day when I first saw “River Below” on TV when I was eight, I needed to find more about them. I did. I never looked back.

“Beach Balls” is a song that was originally released on the “Try Honesty EP” in 2001 – I’m thinking this was the time when the band was looking for a label to sign to. It can also be found as a bonus track on some releases of “Billy Talent II” from 2006.

So when I became interested in Billy Talent in 2004, I wanted to find the lyrics to their songs so I could sing along to them. Letssingit was the first site to come up as a result on Google, and it was there that the lyrics to all their songs from the first album were listed. Furthermore, it was there that the lyrics for “Beach Balls” were listed; it wasn’t on the album, and I didn’t know Wikipedia existed at the time so I had no idea what this song was or how to find it. It could have been a song wrongly associated to the band for all I knew.

That was until I found a download link for the song on one of the many Billy Talent fansites that were around. As soon as the song started I knew that there was something different about the sound. Billy Talent’s first album is very angry, there’s a lot of screaming and hard rocking instrumentation. On “Beach Balls”, the sound is much more peppy. You have a Spanish-sounding guitar riff that plays and carries on during the verses. There’s no screaming on this song at all, which is something I really like the band for, but it’s still a really cool track to listen to.

Then it only struck me recently how the structure of the song is very similar those found on the album “Watoosh!” when the band were called Pezz. (Which is a brilliant album, they should play those songs live some time). For those who haven’t listened to songs on that album, the structure is basically:

Intro – Verse – Chorus – Verse – Chorus – Break – Sound of the song you’ve been listening to for the first half completely changes – One or two lines are sung which are then repeated until the song ends

So I can only assume that this song was performed when the band were still Pezz, but was released when the band changed their name.

The song is great though. Even if it’s not Billy Talent, it still is. If you know what I mean.

Until tomorrow.



Author: Jamie Kyei Manteaw

An English student at Coventry University who spends most days listening to music (old and new) and reading and writing about it, however informal it may be. And studying too, obviously.

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