By Philip Costache
Prior to leaving the house, I was feeling listless and uninterested in the concert, even though I had been anticipating it for a week. Scooped up a buddy of mine, let’s just call him Bryan Foley for the sake of anonymity, and headed to the city that was in such criminally dire straits in the 80s it needed to beget a cop robot. To be fair, things have drastically improved in the downtown area of Detroit. Indeed, nary a week passes without a worthwhile musical event happening; all the better for us restless punks.
There we were sitting in the “rats’ corner” at a local pub adjacent to the venue at which Potty Mouth, Dyke Drama – fantastic names, by the way – and Beach Slang were billed to bomb the living hell out of The Shelter. We had time to burn before committing to the concert, so we ordered a few watered down beers and gawked incredulously out the grimy window and at the back of the Wayne County Building, which is rendered in beautiful Roman Baroque Revival architecture, and pondered why such a stately edifice is rotting away vacantly.
Once at The Shelter, we packed in the civil engineering talk and concentrated on feeling great. Hot bartender, cold, delicious beer, and some band who must have been snuck on the bill while everyone was sleeping were synergizing for our benefit. I was overcome with elation for making the right choice and coming.
Call me crazy, but infusing female sensitives into punk renders the music more palatable, at least to me. I had not expected Dyke Drama and Potty Mouth to envelop my senses the way they did, and I’m thankful for it. It was Willy Wonka who wisely inferred that the best prize is a surprise.
“Hello, Detroit. We’re Beach Slang and we’re going to punch you right in the heart.” Shit just got real. Unfortunately, some jackass couldn’t contain himself from yelling a few obscenities that were directed toward the band, but he was quickly subdued by frontman James Alex’s and guitarist Ruben Gallego’s comical retorts. For a punk rock show, I had expected mayhem from the audience. Unfortunately, people nowadays are satisfied with just head nodding.
Because the band doesn’t have an extensive repertoire, they compensated by making Simpson and Seinfeld references, talking to the audience about random things and together with Potty Mouth covered Nirvana’s “Stay Away” – James Alex strained his voice convincingly and rendered it one of the best moments of the night.
Beach Slang is raw, unadulterated and earnest energy. Punks with hearts that quest to forever celebrate youthful vivacity, agonies and love with all its redeeming qualities. Truly a band to experience live. Again and again and again.