Although The Beta 58's (web link) have changed drummers a couple of times since the band's inception in 2012, their latest album, released September 11, 2023, demonstrates their unwavering commitment to their self-described "punk rock 'n roll" sound. "The guys think they're just playing rock 'n roll," explained returning drummer, Landon Martin, of his bandmates Josh Taugher, Rocko Linden and Sean Viger. "But the way it comes out is just very punk."

After being handed a demo in 2015, Martin, a Napanee-native and fan of the band who joined on drums to "…help tighten things up" is now back behind the kit following a five-year break. "I needed to step away for a while to focus on other projects," he explained. After a meeting that effortlessly devolved into a seamless jam session, the nostalgia had been reignited.

Ironically, the Agree To Disagree LP (Darcy-Cat Records) is the result of a condition attached to Martin's return: He'd agree to drum again and the band would agree to record and release a new album by end of summer. The deal was struck, and while there was contention over the album's original title, Don't Know When to Quit (a song not slated to appear on the new LP), in the end the band… I think you can see where this is going. Album title disputes aside, one listen to the new 10-tracks-in-20-minutes LP and fans will surely agree that The Beta 58's haven't missed a beat on Agree to Disagree.

Returning also—as the band's producer—is Terry Benn (web link), who helmed The Beta 58's last recording, the Rogues' Hollow Session in 2017. Though Benn's recent work has focused on film and TV scores, he's worked with many Kingston music acts including Sweet Talk Jackie, The Wilderness, Listen Up Kid, Needless Love Endorsement and even The Glorious Sons.

Former bandmates in A Dying Race, Martin describes Benn as, "…someone who fully understands what punk music is, because that's our roots and our heritage. We're very similar. He's meticulous, like me." Benn's work on Agree To Disagree has brought a level of polish to The Beta 58's recorded sound, "…but still captures the live energy and rawness of our live performances," added Martin. "(The new album is) everything the band is and should be."

One of the best merchandised Kingston bands (owing to member Rocko's company, IronClad Printing), The Beta 58's also enjoy the benefits of Kingston's tight-knit music community and multitude of live music venues. "We're a Kingston band through and through. We play here. We practice here," explained Martin, who acknowledged the Canadian punk trail blazed by bands such as D.O.A. and Kingston's The Mahones. "Kingston has such a rich music history and legacy. Wherever we're asked, we're proud to tell people where we're from Kingston."

The Beta 58's perform their album release show on Friday, October 6 at Inner Harbour Tattoo with Napanee's The Massacre and Montreal's Ripcordz. Admittance is $10. (This show unlisted by request.)

Photo: Paul Ferguson Posted: Oct 6, 2023 Originally Published: Oct 6, 2023
In this Article Artist(s) The Beta 58's, Terry Benn