Punk drunk love
“We like Bud Light, Keystone Light,” says Beercan bassist Bill Can. “We like light beers, diet beers. If you drink as much as we do, you have to watch the calories. … It can be pretty exhausting upholding the Beercan image.”
The Beercan image consists of drinking hard, playing late and rocking out with complete abandon and infectious enthusiasm. Their sound is punk, in that it’s loud and fast. It’s fairly akin to mid-90s Fat Wreck Chords bands, like NOFX, and refreshingly devoid of the least hint of emo-ism. Guitarist Josh Can sings with an agreeable faux-English sneer. There’s also a walloping dose of classic thrash metal in the mix.
Their live show is quite the treat, especially if accompanied by a few tall, cold ones of your own. They’ll often smuggle cases of beer onstage with them and rock hard and loud. Bill stands center stage in the classic rock ‘n’ roll power-stance, his digits working overtime, while his stylish sweatbands and headband protect him. Josh bobs up and down while scowling into the microphone. Drummer Jamie Can shows off his shirtless physique and holds the sound together—even at breakneck speeds. And lead guitarist Riff Can takes wild, teeth-shattering guitar solos that get all the baseball-capped dudes up front flashing devil horns.
The shorthand description: snotty, drunk punk with metal guitar solos. It’s great fun. They seem to sound better the drunker they are and will sound better to you if you’re at least three sheets to the wind—then they’ll sound amazing.
They take their partying seriously. “We’re a party-political band,” says Bill.
“Innocent people are getting killed overseas right now, and life shouldn’t be about that,” says Josh. “It should be about good things, like drinking and rocking.”
Beercan leads by example, partying for their right to fight.
It’s not all just fun and drinking games for Beercan. They work hard, playing 70 shows last year all over the West Coast. They released a split single with rockers Cobra Skulls on the local label Humaniterrorist and have recorded songs for a full-length album they plan to release next year.
When asked the requisite “influences” question, most guys in the band are quick to point to heroic luminaries from Reno’s punk past, like 7Seconds and Zoinks! Riff is quick to add, “For me it’s all about butt rock. Guns N’ Roses. Van Halen. And … Guns N’ Roses and Van Halen.”
Which answers a crucial, nagging question: They call themselves a punk band, but do these guys know how metal they are?
Yes, they do.
“We like to shred,” says Josh.
But they are also punk. They prove the point that if you play a good metal song drunk and sloppy enough, it sounds like an even better punk song.
It’s pointless to argue whether Beercan is a punk band or a metal band. The point is that it’s a good, fun, loud rock ‘n’ roll band. Good for a bang of the head, a pogo of the legs or just a good, hearty “Man, I love this shit” laugh. But no matter how you choose to enjoy Beercan, they’re best accompanied with something cheap and light and straight from the can.