Ask Beach Patrol frontman Domenic Marcantonio if there's a great story behind the name of his Green Bay rock band's new album, "Riding Dinosaurs,'' and he says, almost apologetically, "I wish there was.''
But it turns out there is quite a story to go with the band's "massive van breakdown'' incident earlier this summer in Brooklyn. The Ford Windstar a friend had offered up as their wheels for a tour out East in June broke down not just in Brooklyn, N.Y., but right on the Brooklyn Bridge.
The guys — Marcantonio, drummer Preston Ely, bassist Jeff VanDreel and newly added second guitarist Chris Capelle – ended up getting towed to their gig. The van, however, never made it out of Brooklyn. When they found out it would take a $2,000 transmission repair to get it roadworthy, they opted instead to rent a U-Haul for $1,000.
"They started to squash it before we left actually,'' Marcantonio said of the dearly departed van, which has since been replaced by a Mercury Villager.
It's been that kind of a year for Beach Patrol — play a cool festival in Austin, Texas, one week, lose your van another.
"It's been a tough year, but it's yielding good results,'' Marcantonio said.
The band's second album will officially be in Exclusive Co. stores on Tuesday, but members are celebrating Friday in De Pere with a release party. A follow-up to their 2006 debut, "Riding Dinosaurs'' is a bit of a departure for Beach Patrol, which counters the power-pop label often slapped on the band by calling its sound "just rock 'n' roll.''
The 11 songs and one bonus track recorded last fall at a friend's home studio in New London feature more keyboards, violin and strings (the work of friend and local musician Ian Olvera).
Marcantonio wrote most of the songs. VanDreel contributed "Windy City,'' and "Preston the Human,'' from group cutup Ely, is the album's unofficial "Ringo track.''
The album is on the group's own Duck on Monkey Records — a label Marcantonio's stepfather helped the group launch in hopes of releasing music from other Wisconsin bands in the future.
"Riding Dinosaurs'' will also be issued on vinyl on Wild Honey Records out of Italy, which means a tour of Europe in the spring. It'll be the band's first overseas jaunt — no van required.
-Kendra Meinert, Green Bay Press Gazette