Release Date: Oct 15, 2013
Record label: Parlophone
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Indie Rock, Indie Electronic
For a group that made a virtue of its flaws, the one perfect thing about the Beta Band was their timing. In the late-1990s, as Y2K-bug experts/fear-mongers started hitting the talk-show circuit to warn us of the impending global technological meltdown, the Beta Band brought with them the reassurance that we’d still be able to get out of our heads even in the event of a worldwide blackout. In stark contrast to the bloated Britpop dominating their homeland at the time, the Beta Band crafted majestic music out of the most modest means: mantric psych-folk anthems built atop a jew’s-harp drone and bongo bounce (“She’s the One”); drum-circle workouts (“B+A”) that hit hard enough to leave fissures in the earth’s crust; a cappella beat-boxed, bell-clanging chants that could make a quiet night around the campfire feel like peak-hour at the Hacienda (“The House Song”).
The Beta Band story is one of potential, and you can hear it in practically everything the Scottish collective recorded. Sometimes it’s fulfilled, bubbling and baffling, but sometimes, sadly, it’s smashed to pieces with a comically high-pitched vocal line or seemingly endless meandering beat. The legend goes that, after three truly great EPs, the Betas bombed with their debut.