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Having a strong affection for surf, sand, oldies radio and The Ramones, The Beatnik Termites wanted to bring the beach to their Mid-Western scene of Cleveland, OH. Starting out with Reggie (Drums / Vocals), Pat (Vocals/ Guitar) and Brian (Bass/ Vocals) in 1987, they combined playful harmonies with 60's influenced bubble gum pop, making them the appropriate soundtrack for every Annette Bunachelo beach movie. After releasing several comp. tracks * including "Punk USA" on Lookout Records -and a couple of EPs, their first full-length "Taste The Sand" came out in 1995. During that same year, Brian quit after a brief stint on the road leaving the Termites on hiatus for two years. During this time, a couple more EP were released with Pat playing double duty on bass and guitar until Josh (formely of The Proms) was recruited in 1997. With a new line-up in tact, "Live at the Orifice" was released that same year.
The Beatnik Termites are a Baltimore, Maryland based power pop band with a heavy surf rock influence.
The band's original lineup of Pat Kim (a.k.a. Pat Termite) on guitar and lead vocals, Reggie Silvestri on drums, and Brian McCafferty on bass formed in 1987. Their sound and vocals are similar in style to the Beach Boys and early 1960s girl groups. While often lumped under the category pop punk, what sets them apart from other bands in this genre is their more complicated melodies, "barbershop style" vocal harmony arrangements, and mid-tempo beats. They are seen as the progenitors of subgenre of punk dubbed oldies-core, which is characterized by sugary doo-wop/oldies-influenced harmonies coupled with aggressive buzzsaw guitars and surf punk drumbeats.
After releasing several EPs and compilation tracks, the Beatnik Termites released their first full-length album, Taste the Sand, in 1995, which established them as the torchbearers of the oldies-core genre.
After Brian McCafferty left the band in 1995 and joined another Cleveland area pop-punk band, The Unknown, the band lacked a bass player for several years. Soon after, Josh Yakunich, formerly with The Proms, joined the band to record the live album "Live at the Orifice" in 1996 which was later released in 1997. Also in 1997, they recorded Bubblecore with Pat Kim playing Bass. This release was a foray into harder-edged sounds, and after discussions to release the album with pop-punk giant Lookout! Records, they eventually released it with Recess Records in 2002.
In 1997, the band covered the entire Ramones 1981 album Pleasant Dreams released jointly by Coldfront Records and Clearview Records. In 2003, they returned to their classic oldies-influenced sound with Girl Crazy, featuring Josh Yakunich on bass, who left a year later to attend college and was replaced by Scottie Limbird from the Retreads. The album was recorded in 1997 but wasn't released until 2003 because Reggie was abroad in the Peace Corps and Limbird stepped out to return to the Retreads. For the next year, Pat toured to support the album with various temporary lineups until Reggie returned from his tour of duty in 2004 and relocated the band from Cleveland to Baltimore due to its central location on the East Coast, which facilitated touring. At this time, Raye Morris joined the band on bass as a permanent member, but left in 2008. He was replaced by Josh Cocoros, who ended up leaving in 2010 because he wanted to concentrate on his main band, the Quarantines. He was replaced by Ricky McCarthur In 2011, Reggie abruptly quit the band prior to the Insubordination Fest. In 2012, Ricky and Pat recruited Doug Etcher from the Dewtons on drums for their performance at Insubordination Fest. In 2013, Mike Methven joined as their permanent drummer. Ryan Keenan also joined as their permanent bassist in 2013, replacing McCarthur.
The Beatnik Termites' catalog is currently available on Insubordination Records.
Examples of other bands derivative of this style (some of whom cite the Beatnik Termites as a direct influence) include the Spazzys, The Proms, The Travoltas, and The Unlovables. The Beatnik Termites are also cited as a major influence by numerous straightforward pop punk acts including the Teen Idols, Mach Pelican, and The Steinways. The Queers are rumored to have named their Bubblegum Dreams EP after two Beatnik Termites releases, Bubblecore and Schoolboy's Dream, respectively; even co-opting the artwork theme from Bubblecore. Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain is documented to have cited the Beatnik Termites as a favorite band in the Cobain Diaries.