Pariah Beat
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Pariah Beat

Band Americana Punk


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"Pariah Beat Radio"

July 29, 2008

It's been fun watching Pariah Beat evolve from a pack of ex-Vermont woodland critters searching for a niche into a well-oiled, dark Americana/gospel/klezmer/polka (yeah, polka) machine that kills fascists and doesn't need no stinking niche. They're destined to amass a big kooky cult following, and reckless abandon has made their live show all the more phenomenal... Radio is an 18-song, hour-long colossus of which much is amazing: "Come On In," "City Far Away," and "Tipperary," to name a few... Pariah Beat put plenty of alt-country/punk-folk-type bands in town to shame, but they're not up to Munly's caliber . . . yet
- Boston Phoenix

"Pariah Beat Radio"

Pariah Beat essentially throw a party on Pariah Beat Radio. It's a rave-up built not on expected explosives, but a running aggregation made solid by traditional instrumentation – fiddle, accordion, guitar, harmonica and a wild fire of vocal capabilities – both male and female. Think Squirrel Nut Zippers possessed by Reverend Horton Heat and punkier songs by Paleface.

It's something akin to music played on a New Orleans Show Boat. Using traditional instruments Pariah Beat focuses to a crowd appreciating originality and creativity within the confines of older, established music. The use of static at the album opening isn't new (Arrested Development did so in 1992 album when the CD began with a record player needle hitting vinyl) but serves as a reminder of music's lineage, allowing the listener to remain in the present while aware of the past. 'Front Porch' paints a picture of the obvious – stories told there, PBR's and blood in the backstreets of my hometown Justin Bendel sings. Or note the sultry honesty when Emily Eastridge sings if we're not doing business there's no charm in shaking hands on 'City Far Away'. 'I Overheard' (You Were Over Her') sounds like a country song if the Rolling Stones made it in their own funky way. 'Leavin', even with all its zesty accordion playing sounds like a southern take on a track missing from Bat out of Hell. It further exemplifies the sprit and energy found throughout the album

Although songs are energetic, lyrics tend to be mostly meaningful love songs infrequently sang between man and woman. The music elicits the urge to dance or a feeling of electric contentment. The musicians illustrate that even in the midst of a horrible time or losing your lover there will always be friends, love, dancing and music in life. The lesson is that you should just learn to enjoy, despite the pain.

Pariah Beat turns swing, jazz, zydeco and bluegrass upside down, into a concoction of inebriated fun, hearty emotions and salt of the earth freshness. They take traditional accompaniments and make rowdy, down home fun out of them - Bootleg Magazine, Wilmington, NC

"Pariah Beat Radio - Album Review"

Vermont has birthed its share of exports, but Pariah Beat stand a breed apart. Suffused with salty Green Mountain charm, Thetford's gypsy outlaws compose a multigenre maelstrom that threatens to hijack Boston airwaves. Framed as a faux FM broadcast and brimming with jug-band enthusiasm, Pariah Beat Radio teeters between roots and rockabilly, often within the same track. There's much to discover here.

"Front Porch" is a thumping Appalachian opener that might befit the Dropkick Murphys, if those Beantown pugs traded bagpipes for banjos. And while the barrelhouse number "Leavin" might seem ham-fisted, Justin Bendel's playful accordion saves the Elvis-inspired honky-tonk from parody. It's as if Firewater hotwired the King's tour bus and took him for a drunken joyride.

Everybody sings on Radio, and that's half the fun. Emily Eastridge lends soprano to the old-time "City Far Away" — a quirky number that serves up irreverence behind a folksy façade: "If we're not doing business, there's no charm in shaking hands," she warns.

Mischief runs like a current through the record, escalating from wry country to frenzied Old World romp. Imagine Brian Setzer vamping below deck on the Titanic and you've got something approaching the tipsy "Tipperary." It's a sloshy blast that pits Nick Charyk's plucky jazz guitar against Billy Sharff's lyrical fiddle. Sharff is expert at introducing exotic textures, such as on the slithering "Sinners and Saints." But the fiery Shaker hymn "Babylon Is Fallen" is the real sparkplug: Thick with cheers, it's a neo-Cossack anthem. You'll want to kick your heels till dawn. Gogol Bordello, beware!

Shape-shifting through '60s surf, jukebox hand jive and Delta blues, the band's versatile bards mine a century of iconic sounds. And stamina is clearly not an issue. James McHugh anchors the myriad tempos with snappy stick work that never flags.

Sixteen tracks in, the Beat drop "H-Bomb," a bawdy rocker that smacks of lo-fi Kiss. It is the set's kinetic apex, a final exclamation point before the album's somber finale.

Eerily quiet, "New Year's Eve" brings a tearful close to 60 minutes of whiskey-soaked Americana. But this party's far from over. Marking Pariah Beat's first feature-length release, Radio speaks volumes both to the band's influences and to its broad abilities. Sure, there's some mimicry to their cabaret. But there's conviction, too. Such depth demands it. Committed to the cause and soaked with talent, this show is worth tuning in. - VT's 7 Days (Magazine)

"Pariah Beat headed to Museum"

White River Junction - Fresh from the release of their new Babylon is Fallen EP and a second east coast tour that actually looped clear down to New Orleans, Upper Valley "Honky Punk" band Pariah Beat is getting set to play a final tour stop Saturday night at the Main Street Museum.

"We've become a semi-house band there," noted Pariah Beat's singer Billy Sharff. "We like the space. People can fit in and mill about inside and outside."

The band managed to keep the damage deposit on their rented van intact by skipping out of each town a day before things got wild. "We were in New Orleans pre-Mardi Gras — the day John Edwards pulled out of the presidential race — we got ahead of Hillary Clinton in Nashville and Obama in Chicago and the big tornados hit a day after we left Tennessee," Sharff explained. "We felt like we were in cities where things were happening."

Pariah Beat's hard-charging music feels like a bar fight is on the brink of happening and Sharff said that crazed sensibility fit in well with their double-bill in New Orleans with a local group called the Zydepunks.

"We were down staying with friends in the 8th ward and there was definitely a lot of cultural life back," Sharff said.

Rolling into Boston this week to play a few dates before returning to Thetford and Cornish, where the five band members are from, Sharff said that the band is selling their EP through their MySpace account, but did not have any comment on the current crisis' facing Britney Spears that has consumed so much of MySpace's time and attention. "We've been on the road and we're kinda out of touch on that," Sharff noted. - CV Spectator

"Pariah Beat (riyl Gogol Bordello, Devotchka)"

December 13th, 2007

Pariah Beat is a natural follow-up to the The Devil Makes Three post from last week. The two bands are MySpace friends for goodness sake (Pariah Beat also lists Songs:Illinois faves - The Cankickers!). I could drop all the same adjectives on this band as I have for those two, but I’ll just leave it at gypsy-folk-circus punk-rockers in fishnet and stiletto’s (and that’s just how the guys dress!). - Songs: Illinois

"Capital Sounds"

Ed Dufresne - January 4, 2008

Pariah Beat hails from the tiny hamlet of Thetford, but has really been making a name for itself to the south of us in the Boston market. Rowdy, fun and full of spunk, this band is one of the bright spots on the Vermont music scene right now. Their self-described sound is "honky-punk," and indeed it is an amalgamation of Americana – jug band music and rockabilly – all played with an in-your-face punk sensibility. This is serious drinkin' music, for sure, so come ready to hoist a few pints if that's your inclination. Fans of bands like Dropkick Murphys, Gogol Bordello or The Reverend Horton Heat are bound to love Pariah Beat. - Montpelier Times Argus

"Six worthies you might run into on the T"

"...Wielding an arsenal of ferociously catchy made-for-drinking tunes fixed in Americana and gospel, yet delivered with punk vigor, they’re somewhere between a musical collective and a carnival troupe." - Barre Thompson - Boston's Weekly Dig

"Pariah Beat Plunks Punk Rockabilly from the Margins"

Pariah Beat creates down and dirty party music that seems destined for the sole, but noble, purpose of fun.

Pariah Beat, with unconfirmed membership size and roots in New Hampshire and Vermont, is now planting some buzzworthy seeds in the fertile music scene of Boston, its new home. Soak up this performance of "I'll Take the Drink" to taste the group's self-proclaimed style of a "punk rock gospel hoedown." The carnival atmosphere yields to more soulful surroundings on "Broken Shoes," a track with vocals that suggest David Byrne channeling Jim Morrison. - New Now Next

"Pariah Beat - Babylon Is Fallen EP"

Opening with a rousing rendition of a traditional Shaker hymn, Pariah Beat has clearly taken up the mantle left in the wake of the absence of the mighty Reverend Glasseye. Pariah Beat are storytellers in the same vein as Tom Waits, The Denver Gentlemen, Beat Circus, Three Day Threshold, and World Inferno Friendship Society. This celebration of folk and barrelhouse songwriting is a specialty and there are so few bands in Boston that pull it off with as much fun and honesty as these people do on this EP. Pariah Beat is rootsy, fun and honest. If you haven’t checked them out yet, this latest slab, available on their myspace, is a great way to begin your indoctrination. (Joel Simches) - The Noise: Rock Around Boston


Original Sin EP - self released, 2006
1. Temporary Love
2. Don't Ya Know?
3. Ghost Town
4. Take A Walk
5. Redemption

Pariah Beat LP - self released, 2007
1. Prisoners
2. I'll Take the Drink
3. Don't Ya Know?
4. I Have Seen the Light
5. I Believe
6. Temporary Love
7. Christopher Tear it Down
8. No Way
9. Waltz
10. Sunday Morning
11. Our Time Will Come
12. Take A Walk
13. Redemption

Babylon Is Falling EP - self released digitally, 2008
1. Babylon is Fallen
2. Come On In
3. Leavin'
4. Front Porch
5. Tipperary
6. Don't You Think About Me
7. I Overheard (You Were Over Her)
8. Love the Pain
9. H-Bomb
10. Broken Shoes

Pariah Beat Radio LP - Vital Records
1. Intro
2. Front Porch
3. Don't You THink About Me Anymore
4. I Overheard ( You Were Over Her)
5. Leavin'
6. City Far Away
7. Tipperary
8. Sinners & Saints
9. Babylon Is Fallen
10. Come On In
11. Stonewall
12. Devil's Lullaby
13. Love The Pain
14. Oh, What a Night
15. Broken Shoes
16. H-Bomb
17. Shenandoah
18. Radio
19. Hymn #2
20. New Year's Eve



Hailing from the backwoods of Vermont's Connecticut River Valley, Pariah Beat plays a punk infused blend of blues, country and old time roots music. The Beat inhabits a realm where Johnny Cash, Loretta Lynn, the Pogues, Tom Waits, Hank Williams, Chuck Berry, Django Reinhardt, the Clash, Elvis Presley and Robert Johnson can stand together without contradiction. We play down and dirty party music - rowdy, rootsy, and serious fun. Described as "a dirt-encrusted buzzsaw from the past, moving forward with the weight of a freight train behind them," we take that sentiment to heart, rooting the tunes we play and the stories we tell firmly in the now. We are not a gimmick, and our music is not reenactment.

One part soul, one part gypsy and one part faith, Pariah Beat always brings something to the party, whether it's fiddle, washboard, accordion, guitar, drums, bass, barrelhouse piano or all of the above. Through fist fights and drunken nights one thing has remained constant - everybody sings, and everybody dances.

Boston's Weekly Dig wrote that Pariah Beat wields "an arsenal of ferociously catchy made-for-drinking tunes fixed in Americana and gospel, yet delivered with punk vigor." Boston's The Noise wrote that "Pariah Beat has clearly taken up the mantel left in the wake of the absence of the mighty Reverend Glasseye. This celebration of folk and barrelhouse songwriting is a specialty and there are so few bands in Boston that pull it off with as much fun and honesty." The Montpelier Times Argus called Pariah Beat an "amalgamation of Americana - jug band music and rockabilly. Fans of bands like Dropkick Murphys, Gogol Bordello or The Reverend Horton Heat are bound to love Pariah Beat." Vermont's 7 Days magazine wrote, "The quintet is a genre-mashing juggernaut. Brimming with energy, it also suggests these guys - and gal - put on one hell of a live show." Kicked out of North Carolina for conduct unbecoming of a rock n roll band and warned to stay out of Chicago, the Pariah Train is a'rolling, and the conductor is punching tickets.


Pariah Beat

*Venues we play at*
Boston area:
The Abbey Lounge, The Middle East, The Plough and Stars, The Cantab Lounge, The Midway Cafe

New York area: Spike Hill, The Trash Bar, The Remote Lounge, Fat Baby, Hank's Saloon

Providence, RI: Club Hell, Jerky's
Provincetown, MA: The Squealing Pig
New Orleans, LA: The Hi-Ho Lounge
Memphis: The Poplar Lounge
Nashville: Springwater
Ocean Springs, MS: Gov't St. Grocery
Chicago: The Pontiac
Asheville, NC: Fred's Speakeasy
Johnson City, TN: The Acoustic Coffeehouse

The Langdon St. Cafe - Montpelier
The Main Street Museum - White River Jct.
Skunk Hollow Tavern - Hartland
242 Main - Burlington
Radio Bean - Burlington