Built around the friendship and musical bond between guitarist Alex Glendening and drummer Maria Nuccilli, the Detroit-based band Deadbeat Beat combine garage rock toughness with indie pop melodies and psychedelic overtones to create a sound that's an homage to the past without being stuck in it.
Their first few recordings were rough-and-tumble affairs; by the time of their third record, 2019's How Far, the group had added some sophistication and maturity to the mix.
Though it took a while for the band to jell, Glendening and Nuccilli first started playing music together when they were middle schoolers in a Detroit suburb. The two shared a love of bands like the Velvet Underground and Television, and once they began to master their instruments they started busking on the streets of their town. Once they were in high school, they started a band called the Decks. After making a couple albums with them, the duo split off and started Deadbeat Beat in 2009. Bassist Josh Gillis joined the lineup and they started playing shows around Detroit. Their sound was a blend of garage rock, light punk, and classic AM radio pop, driven by Glendening's knack for a good hook and the group's sprightly approach. They released a split single with fellow Michigan band Secret Twins in 2011, then issued their debut album, When I Talk to You, later that same year on Gold Tapes.
Gillis moved to Nashville in 2012, but before he left, the trio recorded an album's worth of songs. The remaining duo added bassist Neil Laperriere, then after he left they sometimes played shows as a duo, other times with a pickup bassist. The band's progress was slowed by day jobs and commitments to other bands -- Nuccilli played drums with Outrageous Cherry throughout the mid-2010s -- but was revived when former Kommie Kilpatrick member Zak Frieling joined on bass in 2015. He operated the Gold Tapes label, and around the same time that he joined, the label released the songs they had recorded a few years earlier as the Only Time Will Tell mini-album. This incarnation of Deadbeat Beat hit the road, playing shows across America and striking up friendships with other groups, notably Tacocat.
They also began recording an album in the basement studio of local musician Jeff Else. Working in relaxed fashion -- with Glendening taking breaks to play and record with Tyvek -- they crafted their most polished and punchy music yet. The first fruit of the sessions was the 2018 single "Bar Talk," which was followed later in the year by "Time, Grass & Stone," a psychedelic jam so epic it took up both sides of the 7". The songs were mastered by Glendening's Tyvek bandmate and well-established solo artist Fred Thomas; he also served as a mentor during the recording process. The group's third record, 2019's How Far, was released in tandem by Crystal Palace and Arrowhawk Records. ~ Tim Sendra, Rovi