Album Review: The Beatersband - "Vol Uno"
When I first met Dave Hyde in the late 1990’s, my partner in crime with this webzine, I remember looking through his cassettes and coming across a homemade compilation set that he had titled, The Thing Punk Rock Came From. This collection was music by rock-n-roll icons; Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, Elvis Presley, and so forth and so on. Fast-forward to 2019, and Livorno, Italy’s The Beatersband is on that exact same wavelength with their debut album Vol Uno. The idea is simple; take American rock-n-roll from the greatest era, add touches of garage infused punk rock into them, mix it with dynamic female leads, and BOOM! an idea that falls somewhere between The Ramones and The Donnas is born. Donatella Guida takes the reins on 7 of the 8 classic covers, pulling you through popular classics originally from Ritchie Valens (“C’mon Let’s Go” and “Donna”), The Crystals (“Then He Kissed Me”), Paul Anka (“Diana”), and Bobby Freeman (“Do You Wanna Dance”). When choosing an Elvis Presley song for the album, instead of going for one of his popular hits that’s been covered a dozen times before, they reached deeper into his catalog for the slower paced “Girl of My Best Friend,” which has allowed the group to give the song their own feel and deliver something without the idea already in people’s heads of what it should be. For the most part, with the exception being “Donna” which is played much faster, The Beatersband sticks to the original and uses their album to honor these classics with only a slight twist here and there to make them uniquely their own, placing them alongside such pop-punk pioneers as The Ramones, The Queers, or Screeching Weasel who have all made habit of covering songs from this era of American rock-n-roll music.