Beach Fossils singer/songwriter Dustin Payseur is talking about his generation; he just sounds like a relic from 1980s post-punk England doing it. His friends are doing it, too, to the point where you can argue that a mostly Brooklyn-centric cadre of bands — including Wild Nothing, Frankie Rose and DIIV, among others — has come to own the busy-yet-bare aesthetic borne on heavily reverbed guitars, brittle drums and washed-out vocals.
Beneath the surface, however, Payseur doesn’t seem very interested in the past. He opens Beach Fossils’ second full-length with a pair of songs seemingly directed at his peers: The title track, with its chant of “Nothing real/ Nothing true,” is a call to arms, while “Generational Synthetic” is spent distancing himself from the herd (“I will do it on my own again,” he sings). The disaffection or apathy we associate with vocalists like Payseur — Ride’s Mark Gardener comes to mind — does not apply here. Beach Fossils’ shimmering guitars can seem similarly cool to the touch, but the album is more inclined toward dense, three-minute blasts of melody and rhythm than dreamy splendor. When Blonde Redhead’s Kazu Makino slides right into a vocal appearance on “In Vertigo” and makes herself at home, it feels like a final act of blurring generational borders.