Beaten Awake's history winds through some of Kent's finest groups of the last decade. Drummer Ryan Brannon and guitarist-singer Jon Finley played in Party of Helicopters. Guitarist Joel McAdams fronted Harriet the Spy. Goodmorning Valentine's Joey Beltram recorded the trio's self-titled debut, and Jamie Stillman (ex-Party/Spy/Houseguest) mastered it.
Swept up in psychedelic-laced Americana, the trio leaves punked-up indie-prog in the past. "Young Forever" launches the disc with a thudding beat that evokes a beating heart, stomping boots, and axes chopping down a tree. "Bubble Bath of Sharks!!!" gallops toward the sunset, chasing a jangling guitar. In "Ghost Bought a Bicycle," bluesy notes float over a slow, heavy beat, while a nasal Finley laments a departed obsession. Houseguest's Gabe Schray stops by for a short, glistening sax solo that would do Charles Tolliver proud. While plenty of groups are discovering this kind of music, few execute it as well as Beaten Awake.