Don’t underestimate the power of cover bands. Many moons ago, four guys decided to form a Creedence Clearwater tribute to perform at a Fourth of July party. After several practices, they found themselves creating their own songs, deviating from the classic rock sound while still holding onto its uplifting, laid-back qualities. And thus, Beeef was formed. Lead guitarist Josh Bolduc, singer-guitarist Perry Eaton, bassist Daniel Schiffer, and drummer Neil Patch found their own sound buried in the genius of a ’60s act. Years after their formation, Beeef are finally ready to share their debut full-length, A Beeef CD, and DigBoston is proud to premiere the record in full.
Tonally, the album’s split into several sections. Beeef chase sunny guitars in line with Real Estate or Mac DeMarco on songs like “Tree” and “Firework”, but they change their progression when you least expect it, breaking the usual transition expected of indie rock songs so surf and garage rock tricks appear instead. Sometimes they ride out a snappy bassline and snarky lyrics, drawing comparisons to acts like Courtney Barnett with songs like “Down” and “Houses with Front Porches by the Water in the Summertime.” Elsewhere, they toy with shoegaze tones. “Cream Soda” keeps the hazy bend of strings pulled through two notes at once while the rest of the bands crashes through walls of distortion. Then the whole thing’s topped off with a self-indulgent surf rock anthem, “Time For Beeef,” that feels like a nod to Krill‘s old themes. It’s a mix of lo-fi melodies that charm you the deeper into the album you get, and, as A Beeef CD proves, wins you over in a matter of minutes.
The album’s as representative of Allston sounds as it is Allston people. Beeef recorded A Beeef CD over the course of nearly two years in three recording studios: Nance Haus, Pudding Haus, and the Office Recording, the last of which saw Mike Moschetto behind the board. Ben Semeta of Black Beach handled mastering, Jeremy Given of Abadabad took care of mixing, and music video director and photographer Andrew Gibson handled all the good vibes necessary to give the album its glow.
Perhaps the best introduction to Beeef is also the song that sums up their sound best: “Dogshit Paradise.” Originally released on their debut release, A Beeef EP, in May of 2015, the song takes new shape on the LP. Beeef rerecorded the song to enhance the tone, giving the song its extra shine, singing about the grime and goodness of lower Allston. “Riding the T with my headphones on, marching to the beat of a different drum,” sings Eaton, describing a lifestyle nearly every Allston resident could claim as their own. The song’s music video then brings those lyrics to life. It’s a real life “Hi, neighbor!” moment, even if you’re not toasting Narragansett tallboys.
So that’s what you should expect: A Beeef CD is both a throwback to BBQs from last summer and an optimistic look at what’s to come. Tonight, Beeef celebrate the album’s release at Great Scott. Tickets cost $10 and Gymshorts and Black Beach are scheduled to open. Don’t miss out. After all, you know what they say: carne diem.