Words by Nolan Gawron
The Beat Awfuls began in Boston as a self-proclaimed “fake band” led by singer and guitarist Dave ‘Cave’ Vicini. Their initial tracks were put together in what could only be described as an I-don’t-care-what-you-think type compilation.
Regardless, they were more than perfectly amateurish and always cutting-edge. Their shows were performed by the city’s most distinguished local luminaries, comprised of whoever was available and whoever gave a damn—and most people did. They didn’t practice; they didn’t have to. It was the perfect soundtrack and execution for the Boston pessimist. Songs like “DIY Die” spoke of a scene of talent, seemingly slighted by the continued Boston band curse.
After moving to Kentucky a few years back for “love” and “real life” ventures, the Beat Awfuls became a full-fledged band of lovers and bizarre characters that somehow garnered an even more prolific work ethic. Though they found themselves starting out in a new scene, tape-after-tape of relatively obscure gems were offered for the low price of anyone who got to see them. In their new home of Lexington, Kentucky, they were now miles away (both figuratively and geographically) from the band they once were. They were still amateurs in that fresh punk sense writing more provocative, edgy and catchy songs with a dirty chewing-gum pop aesthetic accompanied with a lo-fi sound and a forward-thinking, deconstructed psychedelia.
At this point, The Beat Awfuls have begun to write another chapter in their strange and obtuse story. With a punk ethos tangled in jangled pop, the Beat Awfuls seem to have found their sound and gained the momentum to create their own beat and a unique vision. It’s tongue-in-cheek accompanied by a slap in the face. Meandering fuzzed-out guitars and minimal beats culminate into the snarling whine of Vicini. These are pretty pop songs disguised by decadent detours.
With their first complete record premiering on Jurassic Pop Records on February 12, Nothing Happens is a conundrum of sound laden with maddening metaphors, lyrical lethargy, and a strange combination of pessimism and daydreams exemplified by titles like “Jackie Ono,” “Mowie Wowie, “ and “Who’s Driving?”
On songs like “Shitty City,” Vicini sings “I live in a bad neighborhood, but it’s good/ I live in a terrible state, but it’s great/ I live in a shitty city, but it’s pretty/ I live in a bad neighborhood because I should.” It all seems to sum up the closest thing to rhyme and realism that you can always expect from the Beat Awfuls.
With twelve 2-minute triumphs, don’t assume any lack of bang for your buck. Every second is filled with a density and the beauty of a shallow depth delivered with a slack but sincere collection of songs with a heavy head filled with the malaise and creativity of a tormented troubadour going above and beyond the call of duty.