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Shuffle: The Beyonderers Mix Surf, Metal and UFOs on Latest Album, 'Disclosure'

The Beyonderers, Dave Rich (left), Anne Lillis and Andrew Rich are releasing their third album, "Disclosure"

Akron surf rockers The Beyonderers are out with their third album, "Disclosure." The group that's been together for about five years describes its sound as surf thrash -- a mix between Dick Dale and '80s metal. And they get a lot of inspiration from the mysteries of outer space. 

"Surf music Megadeth"
On stage, the three piece unit of guitarist Dave Rich, bassist Andrew Rich and drummer Anne Lillis tear through instrumental tracks led by Dave's quick riffs and melodies. Rich, who said he's played guitar "obsessively" for most of his life, has never much enjoyed writing lyrics. So when his previous band The May Company broke up, he decided to write instrumental music.

'I would write a lot of the songs with an unplugged guitar and it would sound like Dick Dale. Then it just turns into surf music Megadeth'

"From the beginning, in order to make the sound cut through in practice I just started using a lot of distortion," Rich said. "I would write a lot of the songs on my couch with an unplugged guitar and it would sound like Dick Dale. Then once Andrew and Anne play on it, it just turns into Megadeth. Surf music Megadeth."  

Opening for Dick Dale
Rich said the late surf rock pioneer Dick Dale has been a big influence on his music and recalled a time when The Beyonderers got to open for him at the Grog Shop.

"It was our second show ever. We had nine songs. I led the venue to believe we had a full set's worth of music because I really wanted to play with Dick Dale." Rich said he took an extra long time to tune his guitar between songs to stretch out their set. Then, a sound engineer asked them to stall, because Dick Dale was still at the hotel. "So we played like two songs we already played! But I don't think anybody noticed because they don't know what we sound like," he said with a laugh. 

The band has since become a staple in Akron's music scene, taking just a brief three-month hiatus when Rich and his wife had their second child last year. 

The Beyonderers channel outer space and UFOs on "Disclosure"

Channeling UFOs on "Disclosure"
The Beyonderers' new album, "Disclosure," is six tracks woven through old audio clips about UFO sightings and conspiracies.  

"When I was in high school, I loved UFO books," Rich said. "Many surf bands have, for better or for worse, a shtick. There are surf bands out there who dress like lifeguards; there are bands who dress like scuba divers. One band, Man or Astro-Man? from the '90s, they used to cut up sound clips from old '50s B movie sci-fi movies and put them in between (songs)."

Rich said since most of their songs are written in minor keys, they have an eerie sound to them. "So, it made sense to just go all in on UFO stuff. For the records, we like to appropriate sound bytes of people talking about UFOs and I think it set the tone for the tunes really well."

The Beyonderers play an album release show Friday, July 12 at Musica with Roid Rage. 

Amanda Rabinowitz has been a reporter, host and producer at WKSU since 2007. After serving as WKSU's Morning Edition host for a dozen years, she moved to afternoons in March of 2022 to become the local host of All Things Considered. In addition to providing local news and weather, she interviews Terry Pluto of Cleveland.com for a weekly commentary about Northeast Ohio's sports scene called The View From Pluto. She also hosts and produces Shuffle, a podcast focusing on Northeast Ohio’s music scene.