City Slang: Deadbeat Beat at the New Dodge

Dec 2, 2013 at 9:09 am

Thanksgiving Eve is an odd time of year in Michigan. With people returning home for the holidays from all corners of the country, it’s an opportunity to get out before Turkey Day and see a bunch of friends. Hence, an abundance of club nights and shows on a Wednesday evening in Metro Detroit. Family comes first for most and this writer is no different there. I did manage to pop out to see the Deadbeat Beat though.

It’s been over four years since I interviewed the Decks and front man Alex Glendening said, “We started in 2003 in my bedroom – just Maria (Nuccilli, drums) and I – because we both really liked the Strokes and the Velvet Underground. We were naïve in that we thought the Sights were famous and from Australia, and the Vines were from Detroit. We were all over the place.”

Four years is a long time in the life of a recently-graduated group of people, and since then the Decks have gone away and re-remerged as the Deadbeat Beat. The core lineup is intact but the sunshine-y pop punk with a hint of surf has been replaced with something darker.

So at the New Dodge the band takes to the stage and stands fairly motionless. There’s something a tad forced about the mood, a little “look at how intense I am.” That’s forgivable though, because the material is strong.

I don’t know if the band has been listening to the Fall, Wire and even later-era Ash, but the fuzzy, post-punk angst has been cranked right up. The melodies that made the previous band exciting are still there, they’re just a little harder to dig up. Nothing wrong with that.

Some of the lyrics are a touch naïve – again, the desire to appear moody and deep is being pushed too hard. But time should sort that out. For now, we can enjoy the fact that these young musicians are progressing and developing, and they’re already a great live act.