Following a string of 7"s for Total Punk, Digital Regress, Neck Chop, and Lumpy - the once Kansas City, now Olympia-based Beta Boys return with their finest work to date; the aptly-titled Late Nite Acts LP. A strikingly focused and sonically refined tour de force, these ten new tracks pair the band's Midwestern hardcore roots with a darker, midtempo burn. A pure punk sound if there ever was; precisely capturing the boredom, depression, and ever-present sense of hopelessness spread across modern America. Beta Boys have truly upped the ante on this full length; an album absolutely brimming with stellar production, first-rate songwriting, and unapollegetically punk flavor. Packaged in a full color jacket with artwork from Beta Boys' own Hank Durango plus lyric insert and digital download.
Our take: After a pair of 7”s, here’s the debut footlong from Beta Boys. To be honest, I liked but didn’t love their earlier records, but this one is a big step up. They seem to have found their voice here, or maybe their style just works better on the longer format. They’ve always had a chorus-drenched guitar sound, but here there are songs that sound more brooding, recalling the USHC-meets-death rock sound of the old Oxnard band False Confession. There’s flexibility in that style, allowing them space to do tracks as different as the brooding, Christian Death-esque title track that closes the record and “Red Devil,” the opening smasher. That song reminds me of the best 45 Grave songs or Dance with Me-era TSOL in the way it infuses Damned-esque punk/goth with the energy of early California hardcore. For such a short record there’s lots of variation in tempo and song structure, making this a quick and exciting listen. Plus, as soon as it’s done I can’t help but flip it over again because I have to hear “Red Devil” again.