Song Review: LoCash, “Beers To Catch Up On”

Okay, now I’m confused: Has the current trend changed, or is it just the verb tense?

In my last LoCash review, I questioned whether or not the forgettable “One Big Country Song” would “have enough oomph to earn the duo a continue before they run out of extra lives.” The duo got lucky, however, and the song #2 peak earned Chris Lucas and Preston Brust a stay of execution and the right to release a third single from their album Brothers. That single turned out to be “Beers To Catch Up On,” which combined with Florida Georgia Line’s new abomination “Long Live,” makes me wonder if the Cobronavirus trend has actually receded or just adjusted to its new reality. With nihilistic partying falling out of fashion, songs like this are flipping to the next best thing: Dreaming about the partying they did in the past and hoping to recreate such events in the future. Unfortunately, talking about such things in the past and future is no more endearing or interesting than it was in the present, and the song winds up being more boring than nostalgic.

The production here suffers from the same problem as that of “Long Live”: It’s just a watered down version of a standard Bro-Country mix that doesn’t work as anything but a sleep aid. The song opens with an acoustic guitar and a clap track, then slowly fills up the background with electric guitars and organs that mostly run together (there are some steel-guitar-esque sounds as well, but it’s hard to tell if they’re actually from a steel guitar or just another electric axe), and that’s pretty much all you get. The instrument tones are dark and reflective, and the regular minor chords help emphasize the disappointment that the shenanigans aren’t still going on, but most of all the slow, deliberate cadence and lower volume levels make the song just as punchless and lifeless as “Long Live.” It’s a mix that try to make you lament the loss of times that aren’t worth mourning, but only succeeds in curing your insomnia.

The good news is that I think I know who the lead singer of this duo is now: Based on a cursory video/audio analysis that took at least three minutes, it looks like Brust is handling the lead vocals here (his voice reminds me of Granger Smith, which isn’t exactly a flattering comparison). He covers the song’s minimal technical demands without any trouble, but he’s severely lacking in the charisma department: Not only does he fail to sell the listener on the appeal of small-town pleasure-seeking, he doesn’t even make these activities sound like fun. He claims to be excited about spending some time with his old crew, but he sure as heck doesn’t sound excited. (For his part, Preston does his best Brian Kelley impression, contributing some indistinguishable harmony work that doesn’t add a ton to the track.) It’s a mediocre performance that passes in one ear and out the other without the listener ever noticing that it was there.

Lyrically, the song makes me think a lot about an album cut from Midland’s On The Rocks, “Nothing New Under The Neon,” as both feature the narrator meeting up with someone (eventually a whole bunch of someones in this track) and reminiscing about the good ol’ days. So why do think “Nothing New Under The Neon” might be the best track from On The Rocks and this song is so underwhelming? The short answer is that “Nothing New Under The Neon” has a sense of both maturity and trauma that this track lacks. Instead of talking about lost loves and family members, “Beers To Catch Up On” is just a laundry list of Bro tropes in disguise: “Trucks, longneck bottles, dirt roads, classic artist name-drops, Friday-night all-night parties”…you know, the same generic stuff I roasted “Long Live” for just a few days ago. While it’s not a 1-to-1 copy (they talk SUVs instead of pickups, and this song talks about fishing instead of women), it still comes across as incredibly juvenile and suggests that the narrator hasn’t moved on from the moment (especially with its proposal to go beyond remembering the activities and repeat them instead). As a result, it makes the narrator feel less sympathetic than they should: Oh, you can’t go drink yourself silly anymore? Here, let me play you a tune on the world’s smallest violin. (That line saying “it ain’t far from yesterday” feels especially delusional: We’re light years from last March, let alone the narrator’s glory days.) In short, this is a poorly-written mess that fails to sell its premise to the audience, and is not something I’m keen on hearing on the radio.

“Beers To Catch Up On” is a maudlin, uninteresting track that tries to mash the Cobronavirus trend with some garden-variety nostalgia, and winds up falling flat on its face. Its lackluster production barely registers a pulse, its writing reeks of immaturity , and while LoCash is present, they’re not terribly persuasive. The truth is that a) Bro Country had its moment, b) that moment is not now, and c) people would prefer to move past it rather than relive it. Where that leaves LoCash remains to be seen, but if they don’t improve their schtick, reminiscing about the career they used to have will be all they have left.

Rating: 4/10. Pass.

3 thoughts on “Song Review: LoCash, “Beers To Catch Up On”

  1. Some irrelevant, awful news to catch up on, Kyle – Entercom Communications, which owns some of the largest country stations in the nation including markets like New York City, Detroit, Philly, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Seattle, and SoCal, has pulled the plug on all of their local talent outside the morning drive. Music is still being programmed locally, but all shows after 10am local time are being piped out of big corporate control centers. The result is the absolute most bland, cookie-cutter, pathetic radio I have ever heard in my life. The talk breaks are 100% generic (no announcing songs because what plays on either side of the break differs by market), and the content itself is so vanilla that my third grade self could have done better. Not announcing the songs makes listeners confused…say they’re playing an upcoming artist like Jameson Rodgers or Parker McCollum…how are listeners supposed to know who the heck those artists are?!? Plus, they’re only giving these national hosts (who bulk-record these shows hours, even days, in advance) 4 times to talk an hour, thus barely even being visible (think about it…that’s 15 minutes between each time they talk…doesn’t something about that sound off?). There is no doubt this model is setting itself up for complete failure – whether that means Entercom gets into so much debt that they have to sell off their stations, or if it means they reinstall local talent in these markets is yet to be seen. All I know is they’re giving people even more reason to turn off the radio and seek an alternative, such as Spotify, Pandora, Apple, or Sirius.

    Meanwhile, you have internet stations like mine that are doing things the right way. We take as much live and local talent as we can get…a lot of them are happy to work on a strict volunteer basis for the love of the industry (which goes to show you…how can this homogenization of radio talent possibly last this long?!? With hundreds, if not thousands, out of work, those that were laid off will HAVE to find their way back in somehow…it’s not like they can magically get the money to go back to college and pursue a completely different career path. Hopefully broadcasters will come together and try to buy some of these stations outright). We interact with listeners, take input from them on what to play (of the 2 dozen people I gave a “sample music test,” Luke Bryan’s atrocious “What She Wants Tonight” scored a 1/5 or 0/5 on 23/24 applications, and yet Capitol still pushed it to #1…hmmmm…..). Hopefully, if all else fails, internet radio will become the big star in place of FM radio. Check out Kevin Williams of KDUB Hit Country or Ben Beaulieu of TNN Radio. Both fantastic, passionate, brilliant programmers that believe in talent-driven radio and are showing that through their successful internet stations, which have been backed by such artists as Gabby Barrett, Ingrid Andress, Michael Ray (I know…your favorite…lol), Morgan Wallen (another favorite!!), Restless Heart, Frankie Ballard, Matt Stell, Parmalee, and Shenandoah. I’d encourage you to check them both out.

    With your Country Radio State of Affairs, I’m Sam Wilson.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I listen to internet country radio here in New Zealand. Currently, I listen to Sugar Country out of North Carolina, No ads and plays a wide variety of both old and new country music, though I noticed that Cruise seems to be on the playlist. I have to say that song is a guilty pleasure of mine.

    Like

    1. Great station, I just wish they’d add some on-air hosts to compliment the music. My old syndicated program “Cross Country USA“ aired on the station for the better part of 2019 on Friday nights.

      Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.