Photo By David Young
In a city that’s got plenty to choose from, the old cliché of Allston Rock City might be Boston’s truest: If you really think the band is gonna make it, that’s where you should be. And as big an eye-roll as that may incite, there’s something special about the idea that, despite being able to shove music down the world’s ears with the click of a button thanks to the Internet, it still matters where you live.
Case-in-point: Ben Semeta, bassist for garage punk trio Black Beach. He and a couple hometown friends from Middleboro, Steve Instasi (guitar) and Ryan Nicholson (drums), formed the band two years ago, but things didn’t really pick up until last year, when they immersed themselves in the local Allston scene.
“This past year has been one of the most exciting of my life,” says Semeta from his Allston apartment. After spending so much time in the neighborhood while living in Waltham, he moved in September to focus more on the band. “I remember seeing CreaturoS and the Fagettes play, opening up for Screaming Females, and I thought, ‘We gotta play with these guys. These guys are best band in Boston, or at least my favorite band.’ Last year in January, I said, ‘My goal is to play with CreaturoS and the Fagettes,’ and a year later we got them to play our record release show [on Wednesday].”
That release, a 7” record titled Play Loud, Die Vol. 1, showcases how far they’ve come in the short time. After starting out as the thrash-heavy Patriot Act, the band changed its name and started blending its various influences—Black Sabbath, Nirvana, Brian Wilson and 60s surf rock—into a singular sound, with Instasi and Nicholson writing the songs and Semeta overseeing the recording and mixing. The blistering “Rats” runs somewhere in between lo-fi punk and alternative, with both its sound and title suggesting they already know their Allston audience well.
“Living in Allston has changed my idea of what being in a band is all about,” says Semeta. “It is way more than just playing music with your friends. I’m learning new things all the time, like when to play venues and how much time to take off. If it was up to me, I’d rather play every day.”
BLACK BEACH RECORD RELEASE SHOW W/ CREATUROS + THE FAGETTES + MAGIC SHOPPE. MIDDLE EAST UPSTAIRS, 472 MASS AVE., CAMBRIDGE. WED 12.10. 8PM/18+/$10. BLACKBEACHMA.BANDCAMP.COM