It’s no secret that Boston loves its rock music. From big names like Pixies down to the little guys like Rock ‘n’ Roll Rumble winners Zip-Tie Handcuffs, our pension for stormy guitars and classic riffs never fades. Hidden away with a sunny vibe and lemon twist is surf rock act Le Roxy Pro — and they’re more than prepared to be your new favorite band.
“It’s not your traditional surf rock,” explains frontman Brent Battey. There’s a lot of vocals that help it deviate towards beach pop like The Beach Boys instead of Pulp Fiction-era Dick Dale, but no matter what you take away, it’s still shining bright enough to land them Hollister and Marc Jacobs commercial spots.
“I want Howard Stern to know who I am,” Battey laughs. “I love the commercials. It’s fun and you get paid for it, plus you don’t always know what would happened. I wrote a song for the Keep Boston Safe compilation. That wasn’t a goal, but it just popped up and I’m so happy it did. Sometimes goals pop up that you don’t know you want to work towards until you’re already achieving them.”
Songs like “Coral Coralles” stick the punchy spoken word of Pixies alongside the casual hooks of The Dandy Warhols. Don’t mistake it for early-2000s garble.That classic inspirations like The Ventures, The Lively Ones, and Link Wray shaped Battey’s songwriting to place positivity, even if subtle, above all else. One listen to “Get It Out” is all it takes for it to click.
His old band, The Wandas, cut down on touring and occasionally got together to hash out new tunes. With an active mind bursting with ideas, Brent Battey decided to write an album as Le Roxy Pro. “This was a really good way for me to get out there and do things a little more my way,” he says. “I started calling my friends up and asking if they wanted to play on this.” Luckily, Sam Creager, Andrew Knox, Dave Chapman, and Greg Settino stepped up to the plate and into the studio to record at the end of 2014.
The Wandas used to sell out the Paradise every couple of months, utilizing heavier rock and, later, deviating into art rock. “It was drunken craziness there,” Battey says with a grin. “I want to get that energy back with Le Roxy Pro. I’ve been inspired by a lot of surf rock, but even more, this is my own little twist-off of what I was doing before.”
Their debut is still fresh, but Le Roxy Pro aren’t letting that keep them from working on new material. “I want this next record to be less about me and more about the band,” Battey says with genuine enthusiasm. “They’re incredibly talented, and the last song we wrote, the one for Keep Boston Safe, was a collaboration all the way from the harmonies to chord progressions.”
Other local acts like The Derangers keep local surf rock afloat, but Le Roxy Pro are giving it a new sheen in 2015. Their focused songwriting and unconventional levity offers Boston a break from our usual heavyweight hits just in time for the toned tunes of summer.
“It’s a legendary place,” Battey says of T.T. the Bear’s Place, the host for their show on Thursday. “We’re so upset it’s closing, but incredibly thankful to play there once more before it does. Above all else, we’ll have fun with it. That’s what we do.”
LE ROXY PRO W/ STRANGEWAYS, ELISON JACKSON, JACK O’BRIEN. T.T. THE BEAR’S, 10 BROOKLINE ST., CAMBRIDGE. THURS 7.2. 8:30PM/18+/$8. TTTHEBEARS.COM