Black Beach’s Play Loud, Die Vol. 2 is an old-school punk EP bursting with grit and fury. Coming out of Boston, but ignoring the sing-a-long melodies usually associated with its scene, Black Beach instead take their cues from early California hardcore punk bands, such as T.S.O.L. and the Dead Kennedys, while incorporating heavy doses of grunge and noise punk. With this release, Steven Instasi (guitar, organ, vocals), Ben Semeta (bass) and Ryan Nicholson (drums) have paid homage to a specific footnote in rock’n’roll history while creating an original style all their own.
Play Loud, Die Vol. 2 begins with “No Place For Me,” a track that epitomizes the sound of late ’70s California punk. It’s fast, loud, and brimming with snotty vocals. Next up is “Cluttered Head,” which gives way to a Vines style early aught rock feel and some noisy guitar work. Finally, this 3 song EP closes with “Nothing’s Golden.” The last track is a genre-bending, distorted ’50s doo-wop punk song featuring haunting vocals and explosive musical outbursts.
Black Beach is one of the only bands I’ve ever heard who manage to emulate this classic style, while successfully blending it with other elements of hard rock. Somehow this Boston three-piece is able to sound hauntingly melodic while capturing the rawness of early hardcore. Play Loud, Die Vol. 2 proves once and for all that old punk can indeed learn new tricks.
Stream Play Loud, Die Vol. 2 below: