The Source: March 2012

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Beulah and the Beat - IE Rockers Heading to Hollywood

When it comes to the glamorous allure of Southern California and its immense amount of cultural icons and influences it could be claimed that the Inland Empire doesn't have that much to offer (trust me I grew up there). However, when it comes to the local music scene the previous pessimistic perception could not be more inaccurate. I hope to shed some light on a few bands rising out of the dust cloud of the IE to make a name for themselves and I'd like to start with Beulah and the Beat.

Beulah and the Beat formed in 2010 with a prolific creative vigor that would have made Michelangelo's jaw drop in amazement. Bored with their old projects these four music veterans decided to collaborate on what has become a perfect tribute to the very core of rock 'n' roll. Sometimes their music hits hard enough to spur a full on head bang sesh while other times it feels fit to raise a pint and sing along to the southern twang of Steve's penetrable lyrics. Vocal harmonies and irresistible hooks show off the complimenting songwriting abilities of Mike and Steve while Beulah and Danny hold down the fort with a consistent and smooth rhythm section. If this wasn't enough to catch your attention then wait until you're confronted with the brass section that is Matt and Nate! The songs are too catchy to ignore and the live show has a Doc Holliday (Tombstone) atmosphere to it as the set will make you want to love, fight, and drink with friends all at the same time!

Now that you've got the 'readers digest' version of the band, let's talk about their music specifically. BATB has a crusher of a debut album with "Divebar Prophets." This album hovers somewhere between an amateur demo and the greatest hits album of a legendary rock group. Pretty good mix if you ask me. It has the raw grind of a fresh act straight out the garage with the beauty and cohesion of explicitly advanced song structure and lyrical content. One of my favorites would certainly have to be "Date with the Living Dead." 


This song just makes me feel like I'm walkin through Lake Elsinore with a whiskey bottle in my left hand and a cigarette in the other and then I come upon "The Hideaway" biker bar and its the only sign of life for miles. I see some ladies that I wanna f*** and their boyfriends who wanna f*** me up even more! I walk in and find a madhouse full of rowdy hoodlums looking for a good time with good people. However, this is no ordinary group of drunkards....kinda looks like this....

There are quite a few jams on the album that invoke similar feelings of debauchery drunken good times such as "Luck Song" and "White Trash Mustache." If you're feeling a little more euphoric and reflective than  try "Hollywood Freeway" and "Never Walk Alone" on for size. "Never Walk Alone" is a deep album diamond that has certainly grown on me over time. Maybe not a first listen glory boat but the lyrical sentiment of this tune will find you smiling in amazement of its relation to every one's love and the scuffles that come along with it.

If you're looking for a jam with a little more substance an exploration than please feast your ears on "Testify," "Sinners and Saints" and "Horseshoes and Hand Grenades." These songs are a bit more 3-dimensional and will take you on a journey through musical expertise and ol' western tales. 

I really can't say enough about this band's ability to write a quality, radio-ready song at the drop of a hat. Not to mention, their live show is amazing! Their sound is much larger in person due to the blast of Matt and Nate's horns and really, just the amount of people and instruments going on stage at once. Steve is a spark plug and never slows up throughout the set. It is truly refreshing to see a front man having a good time on stage rather than trying to act like Mr. Badass all the time. Now moving on to Ms. Badass....Beulah! Wife of guitar player Mike, Beulah lays down smooth bass lines with ease but also handles a lot of the artistic vision of the band as well as organizing shows, etc. When you see this group live together you cannot help but notice the consistency across all the rhythmic elements but then your hit with one of Mike's blistering guitar solos and that's it! this band has it all!

I suggest you all check them out in Hollywood on Sunday, March 25th!!!

I have to warn everyone, I may develop an obsession with this band so I'll be delivering a lot of news about the rise of BATB!!!

Check them out for yourself!!!!