With so many overly serious bands around, it's a shame to have to admonish a winningly raucous group like the Beat Farmers to "straighten up." But a bit more self-discipline would have gone a long way toward cleaning up the uneven performance the San Diego quartet gave Friday at the Coach House.
The Farmers, joined by new guitarist-vocalist Joey Harris, started out promisingly enough. The best songs from the new "Van Go" album show the band moving closer to the commercial rock mainstream without sacrificing the energy and insights of their first album. But when the spotlight turned on drummer Country Dick Montana, his overlong, macho cowboy routines brought all momentum to a screeching halt. For their own good, the Farmers should remember that excess is fine--if not carried to extremes. The group will play the Roxy on June 23.