BEEF: BEEF [Album Review]

Feel It Records [2023]

BEEF’s lineup is led by Takoda Hortenberry, who takes on the roles of both drummer and lead vocalist. His wife, Ally, contributes her skills on keys and vocals, while John Hoffman (Vacation) handles the bass duties. Guitarist Sam Richardson, who also happens to be the founder of Feel It Records, completes the ensemble. Together, these talented individuals have crafted an exhilarating debut album, featuring eight dynamic songs that span a mere 16 minutes. This concise yet impactful record serves as a collision point between garage rock and punk, resulting in a thrilling experience that flawlessly embodies the feverish energy and unrestrained passion of its creators.

From the very outset with the opening track, “Lying To You,” it becomes unmistakably clear that this album is a masterclass in controlled chaos. The distorted guitars, relentless drumming, and the distinctively sneering vocals of Hortenberry instantaneously draw you into their unique sonic universe. The raw production enhances the authenticity of the music, creating the sensation that you are physically present in a dimly lit, sweat-soaked basement venue.

The Cincinnati band consistently showcases their dynamic range throughout the album, with tracks seamlessly shifting between focused, riff-driven segments and explosive, distorted crescendos. The track “D.N.A.” serves as a prime example of this skillful balancing act, enabling the band to delve into a diverse array of textures and moods within a single composition.

BEEF’s self-titled debut is a sonic assault that absolutely captures the essence of garage rock and punk in all their untamed glory. With an unapologetic attitude, fearless exploration of noise, and potent performances from all four members, this album stands as an undeniable testament to the sheer power of unfiltered, high-octane rock ‘n’ roll. If you’re prepared to fully embrace the intensity of music at its most primal, BEEF is an album that unequivocally demands your attention. The closing title track perfectly sums up this idea, as you can rapidly chant along with the band: “I want beef, I want beef, I want beef!”

“D.N.A.” / “Gimme More” / “Beef”

Osees / CLAMM / Gøggs

Bandcamp | Feel It Records

Christopher Anthony
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