BEATNIK TERMITES – Sweatin’ To The Termites

During their early years, Cleveland pop punk/power pop trio Beatnik Termites were one of those bands that gained a cult following but never seemed to get their full dues. For most people, they will be best known for their contribution to the series of Ramones covers albums, which saw the trio covering Joey & Johnny’s 1981 platter ‘Pleasant Dreams’ in its entirety. It says a lot about the Termites’ relative lack of legacy – especially among UK punk fans – that even that release doesn’t get mentioned anywhere near as much as the Screeching Weasel, Queers, or even The Vinctives’ recordings for the same project. Make no mistake, though, Beatnik Termites are a good band, and their blend of punky power pop, bubblegum and surf rock often suggests they are more broadly talented as the scene’s biggest names. Just one listen to ‘Red Haired Girl’ (from their 2003 swansong ‘Girl Crazy!’) is proof enough. With its mix of Ramones riffs, tight harmonies and shameless barrage of handclaps, it offers a near perfect bubblegum/pop punk showcase in one neat two minute hit.

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