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Songs From The Land of Nod feature Beechwood’s vintage garage rock vibe reminiscent of a Nuggets-era group blasted to the present. Never shying from its passion for preserving rock’s raucous integrity, singer Gordon Lawrence remains true to the rebellious nature by choosing to challenge any notion that his group’s sound is more about survival than carefully orchestrated imagery. Alive Natural Sound is certainly the most appropriate outlet for Beechwood as the label continues preserving garage rock while recruiting a new generation of players to carry the proverbial torch.
“Our sound wasn’t planned or contrived in any way, we just play like we do because it’s all we know. With this lineup I feel this is the one; in it for life because this is really all we do,” stated Lawrence.
Hailing from New York City, Beechwood recognizes the importance of the city’s Punk lineage but agrees the genre may suffer from a disconnect between newer bands and the now classic artists that tore up the local stages. Stressing the need for younger groups to respect trailblazers Lawrence offered objectivity between blind support and supporting the future.
“The first wave Punk generation offered general thoughts on us and I know it’s important to get their support because they do still run things. Some may believe that nothing worth while has happened in New York in a long time but despite that, I still feel it’s important to get their blessings so to speak and we do want to honor the tradition going forward,” said Lawrence.
Asked to comment if Punk is falling into a revival act trap, Lawrence chose his response carefully.
“The music has meant so much to me because it gave me more purpose. School made me feel worthless and the music gave me an outlet. With Punk now, I know there can be a revival thing with it as older bands reunite without recording new songs but I don’t think about that part too much. I recognize the history and honor it,” stated Lawrence.
Whether welcomed or not Beechwood recently earned ‘honor’ after aligning with early Punk’s confrontations with authority. A well-publicized June, 2017 clash with NYPD bought notoriety to Lawrence and company. After securing all necessary documents and permits for an outdoor performance Beechwood’s show was violently broken up due to alleged hostilities toward police because of a tossed beer cup from the audience. Videos surfaced within The Gothamist and New York Daily News, complete with inflammatory headlines. Careful reviews of multiple videos did not show the group physically hostile toward police yet Lawrence seemed eager to admit both sides made mistakes. Department officials did not comment as of press time.
“I cannot comment much about it because there are still things pending. We just want to move on. There were things that both sides did that could have been different but I want to move past it. We regret what happened and it really was a shame,” reflected Lawrence.
Beechwood has continued its consistent live schedule unhampered by local authorities and recent opportunities to begin building an audience abroad has the group already thinking beyond its city turf.
“We have a scheduled television performance in France and their press has already given us positive attention. Next, we have gigs in the Netherlands. This will be our first trip abroad. Before, we only played as far out as LA. I feel it has to work because we’re all broke, this is all we have and all we do.”
Additionally, Beechwood is working on it sophomore effort for Alive Natural Sound. Asked if the group could suffer overexposure by being brought up too fast, Lawrence countered by stating the positive press continues to creatively spark the group.
“Honestly, we learned to play just by getting up there and doing it. I know we’ve gotten better. The next record is going to be more focused, less psychedelic I think. There will be songs that have more melody and a lot more collaboration because our drummer Isa ( Tineo) will also play guitar and sing. Our new bassist Sid will also sing and the record is titled Inside The Flesh Motel,” shared Lawrence.
Beechwood soldiers on with an all or nothing mentality, proving that rock & roll is their necessity and not an entertainment luxury.
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