Black, leather boots are stomping across a damp sidewalk. It’s well past midnight, but the concrete is bright with reflections of neon signs, street lights and lit cigarettes of people out for a night on the town. A woman is wearing those boots, effortlessly making her way through crowds outside of nightclubs and late night restaurants. The sky may be black, but she’s wearing sunglasses with an unwavering confidence. She has her own cigarette neatly placed between her red lips.
This is the sort of scene that Sacramento’s Death Party at the Beach evokes with their dark, synth-heavy brand of post-punk. The band creates music that is dripping with a neo-noir cool that would make Ryan Gosling’s character in Drive actually feel something — jealousy.
“Our sound is kind of like time,” said lead singer Lance Derouin. “It has to be very precise. Every good song you hear has a good structure and that’s how this band operates.”
Every second that the band puts together is carved exactly how they want it to be. The guitar leads fit in next to the drums, which have their place in with the synths which would be lost without the vocals. Death Party at the Beach put together a puzzle with every song and the sound wouldn’t be the same with a piece missing.
That means half the band was found through Craiglist.
“Which is sketchy,” Aparicio said through a laugh.
It worked out well for the quartet because they have the required chemistry to make music with such precision. Derouin compared Death Party at the Beach’s effort to sound so decisive, especially when live, to French synthpop band Phoenix. It’s a high bar to set for themselves, but Death Party at the Beach has some high aspirations.
However, that doesn’t mean they don’t love their hometown.
“Being in Sacramento is definitely cool,” Aparicio said. “Since the city has been focusing more on itself, I feel like there’s a bigger community.”
Finding a group of people that are all on the same page in creating the same piece of art is definitely tough. Once you find the dynamic that clicks and a chemistry is established, you hold onto it as tight as you can. Death Party at the Beach has established that chemistry. Just like their music, each member is a piece of the puzzle and it wouldn’t be the same if something were missing.
Death Party at the Beach will be playing at Harlow’s along with bands like Coyote Mustache in June.
When: 9:30 p.m., Friday, June 9
Where: Harlow’s Restaurant & Nightclub
2708 J Street, Sacramento
Cost: $8 – $10