Something seems amiss in a house on Placetas Street. The house, located across US-1, seems miles away from the University of Miami. Lexus SUVs and Mercedes Benz coupes don’t sit in the driveway, and the inside isn’t marked by minimalistic, modern design. Instead, green, purple and blue psychedelic sheets hang from the ceiling, separating rooms in a shroud of trippy fashion.
In the back room of the house, racks of guitars line the walls, cases lean precariously against a couch, and packages of D’Addario strings litter the floor. A worn drum kit sits in the corner, with the floor tom supported by a red plastic crate and the ride cymbal missing a chunk of metal.
The five guys of Beckham County Trainwreck, all current or former students at UM, practice in this room once or twice a week. They seem to have a sense of stage presence – bouncing, grinning, grimacing and head-banging to their music – even in their holey t-shirts, baggy jeans and in the middle of pretentious, suburban Coral Gables.
Nick Albury, Ethan Cohen, Kyle Crossland, Karl Fagerstrom and Rob Faulstich officially came together as Beckham Country Trainwreck in 2008. Their sound is a kind of “rock-funk-jam-with-not-so-shitty-country,” says Cohen, a senior majoring in business. Yet Fagerstrom, a senior studying jazz percussion, and Faulstich, a junior majoring in entrepreneurship, played in metal bands in high school, Cohen only played blues, and Crossland cites some acoustic influences.
This “mash-up” as Faulstich calls it, works well for the guys of Beckham County Trainwreck. According to Albury, who withdrew from UM last year, the band has “a particular writing style. Each song is in a different genre, but has the same style.”
He and Cohen harmonize their guitar parts while Fagerstrom and Faulstich challenge each other with syncopated rhythms on drums and bass, respectively. Crossland yells, whispers and sways, depending on the vibe of the song.
Beckham County Trainwreck plans on recording some of their songs in the next few weeks to release an EP in the near future. Other goals include playing at festivals. The idea appeals to Crossland, a junior majoring in music business, because “it’s a bunch of music lovers all in one place.”
But they’re willing to start local.
“Miami’s rock scene is definitely cause for concern,” Cohen said. They brought their funk-jam-rock to the UC Patio earlier in April, when they opened for the Ying Yang Twins and they frequent Bougainvillea’s, a small bar and music venue in South Miami.
“We’ll play for anyone who appreciates our music,” Faulstich said. “We’re not tailoring our music to fill anyone’s needs.”
If You Go:
What: Beckham County Trainwreck
When: Saturday, May 2 at 8-11 p.m.
Where: Bougainvillea’s, 7221 SW 58th Ave. Miami, FL
For more information, visit www.myspace.com/bctrainwreck.