Look, I have no space left in my iTunes for another “Beach” group. Beach House, Dirty Beaches, Beach Fossils, Nude Beach — when is this going to stop? But… I’ll make an exception for the Brooklyn group Beech Creeps, and not just because they tweak the usual “beach” spelling.
As presented on the video for “Sun Of Sud,” the first single off their forthcoming debut album, the Beech Creeps essence is pretty familiar to long-time listeners of underground rock. A bowel-shaking bass guitar hangs on for dear life to a rudimentary groove. Drums explode with lumbering fills. An electric guitar crosses the safe decibel threshold, screeching and scorching in feedback, while a man wails as if his soul is being wrung like a greasy towel.
Beech Creeps tap into a long history of dumb, repetitive rock, from its earliest formulations by Blue Cheer, on through the Stooges, Motörhead, Flipper, the Melvins, Butthole Surfers, Steel Pole Bathtub, early Flaming Lips, and the rawest of Sub Pop recordings, and into the new millenium with groups like Awesome Color. No band has ever made a million bucks off this psycho-primitive sound, at least not before diluting its potency, but then this music doesn’t ask its practitioners to seek innovation or novelty. This is music for one percenters; it’s what Beech Creeps have chosen to roll the dice on, and I gotta tip my hat to them. “Son Of Sud” as well as their forthcoming self-titled album make clear that Beech Creeps may not play this style uniquely well, but the style sure plays the hell out of them.
A sociology professor living in upstate New York, Leonard Nevarez is patiently waiting until his kids are old enough for a family roadtrip to Maryland Deathfest. He blogs at musicalurbanism.org and is writing a book about Martha & the Muffins and the late 70s/early 80s downtown Toronto music scene.