The failure of the world at large to embrace Beulah is almost inexpressibly frustrating. It's not for lack of celebrity endorsement: in a recent issue of Rolling Stone, Yoko Ono granted the band a public blessing, although whether this will do a thing to further their cause is doubtful. Yoko - so named, according to singer Miles Kurosky, because the word peals "change, progress and risk" - is the Californian sextet's fourth album and, musically at least, their darkest yet.
Six years of label-hopping, distribution problems, and threats of disbandment, and Beulah still manage to put out great albums like clockwork. 1997's preciously lo-fi Handsome Western States laid the groundwork of their deceptively joyous take on low-maintenance rock, while 1999's When Your Heartstrings Break converted all of its predecessor's gritty potential into idyllic, Elephant 6-archetypal pop, availing itself of no less than 18 studio musicians to do so. In 2001 the band raised the stakes again with the sweetly wistful The Coast is Never Clear (unfortunately released on September 11th and bearing an airplane on the disc).