Release Date: Sep 21, 2004
Record label: Astralwerks
Genre(s): Indie, Rock, Electronic
On their full-length debut, Night on Fire, VHS or Beta trade in the Daft Punk-esque filter disco of their EP for dance-punk with a new wave twist. At their best, as on the album's title track and "No Cabaret!," the band sounds like Robert Smith singing over Duran Duran remixes; like the similarly retro-minded Killers, they have a knack for distilling everyone's favorite new wave/post-punk moments into pop confections. This shiny pop veneer gives VHS or Beta an edge over the increasing, and increasingly tired-sounding, ranks of artists recreating the '70s and '80s' disco-punk hybrids -- instead of trying to attach any kind of deep significance to their rolling basslines, staccato riffs, and polyrhythms, they buff the style's rough edges into smooth stylishness.