By tiina liimu
VANCOUVER — What are these sounds of Beat? Well, you might find yourself walkin’ down a lane, one foggy Vancouver night and suddenly your feet just start to shuffle. It could just be you are passing by the Bad Beats rehearsal garage as they bite through songs like the snotty “She Don’t Talk To Me” or the moody “It Breaks Me Down.” The demo tracks that were just tight enough to catch the attention of garage aficionados at NYC’s “Tommy Unit Live” show and WITR 89.7 in Rochester, NY. Incidentally, Rochester is the home of the ‘80s garage revival band, Chesterfield Kings. It’s kinda like that old story you hear about tuning into a radio late at night only to stumble upon some compelling ‘60s garage, ‘80s revival or even these days to dialed right up to speedy garage punk.
The spark for this band came when guitarist, sound engineer Adam Payne decided to find a new project after the now-defunct Hathaways. “I was looking for another singer and found Cam through a friend,” says the guitarist. Cam Alexander is the vocalist from Real Problems and Thee Ayatollahs and his contrasting pipes range from a killer swagger to a crone with emotional soul. It comes as no surprise; one of his music heroes is Detroit singer Scott Morgan, known for The Rationals and Sonic’s Rendezvous. The former SNFU and Subhumans drummer Jon Card joined in. “I had the time and inclination,” he adds. On bass is Rich Katynski and on keyboards is Derek McDonald, both with Gold Stars For Suckers. “I played hard to get and finally wanted to play. I waited till Rich was there!” laughs McDonald. “I asked Derek right off the bat, he was the first person,” says Payne. Plus, Randy Rudland is featured bass for both demo recordings and Sylvia Lim is on keyboards for “It Breaks Me Down.”
Bad Beats have stockpiled some originals like the soul tainted “His Vengeful Hand,” the punk ’n’ roll “Jackie’s Place,” or “Knock Yourself Out ” and the fast garage punk “You Done Me Wrong.” Some obscure garage covers just might creep their way into the live set from: the Miracle Workers out of the West Coast ‘80s revival, Mono Men with Dave Crider of Bellingham’s Estrus Records and Creeps from the ‘80s Swedish resurgence.
While current garage rock might be guilty of the right looks and a lot of reverb, it might be missing that special hook. Payne suggests, they may not be just “catchy” enough. “I am a sucker for a pop song and garage packages, power, punch pop, punk, all of the above,” the drummer reveals. Card points out something that Johnny Thunders said, along the lines of, “I just wanna see the kids dance, or I just wanna make music that makes the kids dance.”
With this crew just about to debut with a live show, maybe it is just time to put on your best rock n roll dance shoes. They’ll be joined by the instrumental surf rock inspired Chopper and Saucermen.
Bad Beats perform at LanaLous October 17.BC, British Columbia, LanaLous, The Bad Beats