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The Beta Band

Hot Shots II

Release Date: 06.26.01
Record label: astralwerks
Genre(s): Movies, Film Scores, Musicals, Etc.


Best Taken With Chemicals
by: bill aicher

After what the band perceived as an imperfect attempt at an album release, Scottish folktronic group The Beta Band decided to take a second stab at record-making. The results, although not perfect, are a clearly satisfying selection of zone-out unclassifiable jams. Zone-out because of the slow-paced driving beats inherent throughout the entire disc. Unclassifiable because, honestly... you can't really classify anything from The Beta Band.

They don't rock, but they sure as hell can rock out. They don't bump, but they sure as hell know a good beat. They are what they are, and always have been, a largely untapped treasure just waiting for the people to discover.

Amassing influences from the gamut of the musical spectrum, Hot Shots II succeeds in all the ways their self-titled release didn't. It builds upon the hippy-esque jam sessions found on their classic Three EPs and takes their unmistakable love of hip-hop and reggae for a combination unlike no other.

Tracks such as "Al Sharp" and "Squares" stand out, most notably for their catchy hooks. Yet songs like "Eclipse" display a penchant for comedic philosophizing, proof the band still refuses to take itself completely seriously.

And thank God for that. With the recent barrage of so-called European "artists" being shoved down the throats of North America, it's refreshing to come across an album that truly delivers... without forcing us to realize it. 22-Apr-2002 11:00 PM