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Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2009

Beach Patrol’s Time-Tested Rock ’n’ Roll

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In a time when experimentation is often the hip thing to do, Green Bay’s rock ’n’ roll troubadours Beach Patrol stick to the tried-and-true basics. With a variety of past and present influences such as The Beatles, The Replacements, Tom Petty and Elvis Costello, the band sets out in studio or on stage to channel core rock ’n’ roll ideals and mix them with expertise at playing their instruments.

“Our music is rock ’n’ roll with an emphasis on the roll,” says Beach Patrol frontman Nick Marcantonio, who leads the band with a voice that wouldn’t be out of place on classic rock radio.

With raw rock ’n’ roll prowess and a good-time mentality, the members of Beach Patrol don’t simply treat each performance as just another show—if their fast-paced rock ’n’ roll doesn’t get the crowd dancing, nodding their heads or tapping their feet to the music, they haven’t done their job.

“We keep the crowd involved and try to get them dancing and moving on the dance floor,” Marcantonio says. “We just want to have a good time and want to make sure everyone else there does as well.”

Marcantonio is joined by several talented musicians, most of whom have been with him through the band’s eight-year existence. Preston Ely provides a classic beat to their songs on drums, Ian Olvera (a newbie to the band) lets loose on keyboards/lead guitar, and Jeff Van Dreel helps solidify their sound with bass guitar.

“We all started playing instruments together and we kind of learned off each other and that’s pretty much all we do,” Marcantonio says. “You learn how to play a good song when you’ve been playing together so long.”

That chemistry helped the band book several U.S. tours as well as their first European tour. They had the opportunity to play on the same stage with performers such as Jackson Browne, George Clinton and Black Diamond Heavies.

With their third album, Daytime Highs, due for release in the spring, the band continues to expand on what they’ve done, adding more driving hooks, creative melodies and varied instrumentation.

“The new album is a lot more raw rock ’n’ roll,” Marcantonio says. “We really seem to have hit a rhythm with this album.”

While containing elements from their first two albums, It’s Only Greener ’Til You Get There and Riding Dinosaurs, the new album examines more serious topics such as struggles with family and friends.

To support the album, the band plans to tour Europe and play U.S. shows when they can. They’re also in talks to film a music video to air on the popular “Rock ’n’ Roller Remote Controller” TV show (which airs on Milwaukee Public Television) sometime next year.

“It’s good to have a video and have it out there on TV and on the Internet,” Marcantonio says. “We haven’t done anything like that, so we’re excited to shoot the video and have that under our belt.”

In a way the band has made Milwaukee a second home, as they frequently play local venues and earlier this year had their performances filmed at the WMSE studio. The band returns to Milwaukee on Dec. 31 for a New Year’s Eve show at Linneman’s Riverwest Inn, which they’ll share with The Goodnight Loving, Magic Words and Tim Schweiger and the Middlemen.

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