photo by Eileen Lee
Detroit garage rockers Deadbeat Beat released their single “Bar Talk” this week, and it is a chillingly accurate portrayal of bar-scene anxiety. The band – made up of Zak Frieling, Alex Glendening, and Maria Nuccilli – stays true to its trademark lo-fi sound on the single, with thrashing drums and warbled guitar. Glendening’s blasé delivery recalls proto-punk pioneers like The Modern Lovers and early New York Dolls, mirroring the mundane nothing-talk that inevitably results from seeing the same people at the same bars night after night.
Glendening says he wrote “Bar Talk” at a time when he was frequenting the same bar and felt disillusioned by the social scene. “I was experiencing paranoia from being at the bar too much, and having many ‘acquaintances’ that I didn’t actually know,” says Glendening. “Some nights, no one would talk to me. Other nights, people would want to know all about me and pretend like we had been longtime friends. I’ve since learned that this is just what happens at bars, but at the time it was pretty stressful for me… Also, at that time I was trying out becoming comfortable with being gay while hanging around a bunch of straight people at punk shows.”
The singer’s aforementioned paranoia is made apparent throughout the song, lyrically and musically. “You talk slick, but you’re full of dirty tricks,” Glendening sings to nobody in particular, before the song slows to a distorted crawl. The cloudy stupor is lifted as the song ends, only to transform into the sonic version of the spins, as Glendening decides to close the night with one last drink.
While the song undoubtedly captures the unpleasant cocktail of social anxiety mixed with overconsumption, it also serves as a dizzying metaphor for those meandering through the clusterfuck known as “your twenties” and a comforting reminder that punk rock is not dead.
Deadbeat Beat will head out on a mini-tour starting April 5th with stops in Columbus, Philadelphia, Brooklyn, and Detroit. The Detroit show will be part of a John Waters Birthday Bash where DBB will open for one of their favorite bands, Hunx & His Punx. See the tour dates and listen to “Bar Talk” below.
4/05/18 – Columbus, OH @ Ace of Cups
4/06/18 – Philadelphia, PA @ The Pharmacy w/ don’t
4/07/18 – Brooklyn, NY @ Alphaville w/ Bodega
4/08/18 – Brooklyn, NY @ The Glove w/ don’t
4/20/18 – Detroit, MI @ El Club w/ Hunx & His Punx