The Beta Band by The Beta Band (Review)

This would be pretty unlistenable stuff except for the infectious beats and bass that keep your head nodding and your eyes glazed the whole time.
Self-Titled - The Beta Band

Freakin’ weird stuff here. Somewhere in the same musical universe as The Danielson Familie and Soul-Junk, but in case that comparison does nothing for you, let me describe them. If such a thing were possible…

Old-school keyboard bass beats, with extra beats. Acoustic guitars. Occasional Grateful Dead-sounding hippie songs that suddenly drop into off-key English white boy rapping or samples from who knows what. Clapping. Bells and whistles. Only one sorta conventional song: “Broken Up a Ding Dong,” a great psychedelic strumfest with tumbling percussion, which turns into some sort of hippie marketplace jam. You can almost smell the ganja smoke. Nonsense lyrics void of any relevant meaning for rational minds. Soft, melancholy singing. Space rock.

“It’s Not Too Beautiful” starts off like a beautiful Beatlesque song but turns into an eight minute sample of the disturbing music from the end of Disney’s “Black Hole” movie. The album (their second CD, the first being a collection of their EPs) would be pretty unlistenable stuff except for the infectious beats and bass that keep your head nodding and your eyes glazed the whole time.

“Number 15” is like a hybrid hippie reggae rap song with lyrics like: “Fifteen reasons not to spend my life with you (Twenty five reasons why I wouldn’t want to) Love you though you’re lazy and tell me not to do the things I do (Not so lazy that you never could do).”

Sorry for this structure refusing review, but the album itself rejects it. If any of this sounds appealing to you, definitely check out The Beta Band. It’s like Beck in space. The Grateful Dead’s mutant children trapped in an alternative universe. Insane English lads having a dream that they’re rappers with a mountain of samples and vintage instruments at their disposal. Somebody gave them enough money to get great production, too. I can’t describe this craziness anymore — just go and buy it and trip out to the alien tunes.

This review appears courtesy of Stranger Things Magazine. Written by Josh Spencer.

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